To return to any place is, associatively or figuratively, to reconstruct any event that happened at that place—especially if it’s a personally or universally defining event. To acutely mark that spot with an architectural artifact like a monument or memorial makes it impossible to miss, but also denies us the architectural setting of everyday life that enabled—or witnessed—that event in the first place. And such monuments can also seem, all too easily, to relieve us from our duty of further recollection and reflection. To demolish whatever stood at a place may seem like erasing that place’s defining event from history. But, conversely, to restore a place too completely to some earlier state can become a form of erasure, a denial that any disruption has ever happened. …
Shootings, events defined by immediate sightlines and ballistic trajectories, are an especially spatial and architectural kind of violence, and some ineffable part of their violence is to space itself—to the very airspace or geographical coördinates at which shots were fired or taken. The architectural task in the long aftermath of such shootings is not only to repair structural damage but to calibrate a balance between remembering and forgetting sufficient for daily life to continue nearby—and to figure out how the shapes, materials, and details of buildings can participate in that calibration. The architectural task is not only to provide actual security and defensibility but to figure out how the ways you see and move through buildings can affect your feelings of being at risk or at home.
Thomas De Monchaux talks to Erlend Haffner of the Oslo design firm Fantastic Norway, who has been hired to rebuild the summer camp on Utoya Island, which was the site of a mass shooting in July, 2011, about the process of rebuilding violent places: http://nyr.kr/16c0vKo
"Why is the victim treated as the troublemaker? There is moral laziness, and a deferral to privilege, to tradition, or to one’s own interests, that disguises itself as loyalty, from Williamsburg to South Bend. And there is the illusion that that being community-minded means protecting the strongest, rather than the most vulnerable members of a community."
— Amy Davidson on the sentencing yesterday in Brooklyn of Nechemya Weberman, to one hundred and three years in prison after being found guilt of fifty-nine counts of child sexual abuse: http://nyr.kr/WV9UxU
At base, I object to any system that makes me feel like a store clerk in “High Fidelity.” Those guys are not my guys. I mean, I don’t follow basketball statistics. I watch the Oscars for the starlet meltdowns and I don’t expect the “best movie” to be the best movie. I black out when I try to calculate the tip. Please don’t make me tell you the best television show of the year.
Although the answer is obviously _______
- Click through to read TV Critic Emily Nussbaum’s answer, and more on why she hates top ten lists: http://nyr.kr/uXo7bC
Like a lot of ambitious TV, it has been a magnet for a small, oddball cadre of viewers, the ones who analyze comic beats in the manner of Talmudic scholars, wear T-shirts with slogans that only the elect will understand, and criticize tiny flaws in a thread that goes a thousand comments deep. The show succeeded. It found us. There just weren’t a lot of us.