Initial Point End

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 Bomb destruction in Germany.


 INITIAL POINT. Older  Project Notes.

 

  1. Possible:  Black Grass and Fire/ Annual Ritual.
    1. This is an additional possible running either in sections or along the entire ½ mile course of the project.  A series of mogul like small hills is built of simple earth along the entire length. The moguls are connected, or separate. Each mogul is designed to evoke the shape, to scale, of the Northern European countryside.  The moguls are allowed to grow wild small grasses until they are covered.  Once per year, particular moguls are set aflame, in a highly controlled manner.

i.  Each mogul is small – a kind of hillock. A pattern of non burning material (rebar? Clay? ) is laid down to suggest flight-path like curvilinear patterns along it’s surface. The effect of the burned grase is to leave a blackened surface and a wheaten color underneath, enabling the piece to create a pattern.

ii.  The commemoration ritual would be held once every four  years.  The process of burning these hillocks would be to both evoke the nature of bombing, but also a honor for war dead, for victims, for cleansing and renewal – facing the death and suffering, recognizing the sacrifice of veterans and the depth of the global emergency against fascism, providing a beacon out of the way of total war.   

  1. Possible:  Four Female Figures at each side.
    1. I’ve been noting that traditional war memorials frequently have a female figure – an angel-like woman to mourn and remember.  In this case the formal geometry seems somewhat incomplete without a figurative element, and it isn’t to be ignored that the most common decoration of the aircraft was, rather than images meant to induce terror, were images of women – often pin-ups, breathtakingly beautiful, more than a little sexy, their butts tapped affectionately for luck as men got in the planes. They are the dream-reality of wives, of girlfriends left behind- the motivation deeper than nation.   
    2. In this idea, four 40’s era female figures, unabashedly nude, graceful and beautiful, witness the bomber stream. They are traditionally symbolic: women, in longing and anguish, gazing to the sky here rather than the sea.  One is American, at the origin side, holding a wrench, lightly, it’s tip on the earth.  Near her on one long side is an English woman, arms folded in satisfied anger, her face knowing loss . At the termination point one is a German woman, weary, defiant.  Near her, off to one of the long sides, is a prisoner, Jewish (behind barbed wire?) emaciated, forgotten, hope all but gone. They are rendered carefully, in full color (bronze epoxy cast and glazing or multilayered resin) life size and standing at ground level, at deliberately strange compromise between classically expressive figuration and 40’s era pop glamour.


  1. Rolling Hills and Depressions at Site to "shape" the sky (Turrell).
  2. 4 “contrail wires” are braided into one for the B-17 supports structure.
  3. Intern Recruitment.
  4. Institutional Research Notes.

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SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5


The Following is quoted From Slaughterhouse 5, by the late American novelist Kurt Vonnegut.   Vonnegut was an American POW during the war who directly witnessed the bombing of Dresden while trapped in a slaughterhouse.


Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer
 came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle
like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in
time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie
about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who
flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this:
 
American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took
off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German
fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments
from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked
American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join
the formation.
 
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in
flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous
magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel
containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The
containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous
devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck
more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few
wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair.
Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and
everybody as good as new.
 
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were
taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America,
where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders,
separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly
women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in
remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide
them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
 
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school
kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't
in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and
all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two
pefect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.  


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When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were


INITIAL POINT: Proposal for WWII Heavy Bomber Site Sculpture.  

Jamie Bollenbach,                                     M.F.A. University of WA, 2002

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