Today at the National D-Day Memorial in Virginia they’ll be dedicating a monument of Eisenhower, by Jim Brothers. I’ve been consulting on this project since 1998; Jim is the figurative sculptor, and did a fantastic job. Some critics, inevitably, complained that the figures were too literal–you know, those guys who aren’t veterans, except of sneering.
I consult on plenty of contemporary/conceptual projects. But when it comes to veterans, I’ll be damned if I’m going to install an avant-garde piece that the majority of them don’t get, and don’t like. It’s insulting to them, and to all they endured. I won’t force that on them just to please a couple of critics–unless the day comes where it’s a natural fit.
Maybe someday there will be a memorial to Civilian Dead as well, since in all of our hideous wars, it is civilians who suffer most, and who constitute the vast majority of losses. Better yet if we can just dispense with war altogether, but I don’t know if that will ever happen in this world. That shouldn’t prevent us from visualizing it though.