Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lot's Tribe

I was taking a lunch break on September 11, 2006, and decided to take a bench in Seattle’s Occidental Park to enjoy the late summer weather.

There were three pieces of sculpture, with no explanation, that hadn’t been there the previous day.

No one I spoke to knew anything about them, but it was painfully obvious they had something to do with the war in Iraq, and the Abu Ghraib prison debacle.

I finally found some info on-line.

The three pieces were made of salt, and collectively titled “Lot's Tribe.” They were created by sculptor, Michael Magrath.

This from his press release:

Lot's Tribe is conceived as a temporary memorial to the other victims of 9 /11: Three life-sized statues of Iraqi civilian men and boys, each cast in salt, were placed in Occidental Park, in Pioneer Square, Downtown Seattle for the morning of September 11, 2006. There the white, crystalline figures will stand, sudden incursions of unwelcome reality into our daily lives, until the rains come and they dissolve.

"These figures were culled from news images coming out of the Middle East over the past few years," says Magrath. "The scenes were shocking, and I wondered why they were not more widely seen. They made me think about what it feels like to witness something so unexpected and vast; like an explosion that will permanently alter your life, and how that sort of traumatic event evolves over time. My intent was to render some sense of these scenes in as real and arresting manner as possible, a kind of 3D photojournalism -- silent monuments to seemingly distant events with which we, whether we recognize it or not, are intimately connected."

I thought it was a brilliant piece of public art, and figured the city would have it removed in no time, but, and will wonders never cease, the city had actually given permission for the installation.

The fall and early winter weather collaborated:

The salt began to melt away, and the pieces became even more heart-breaking:

And then, an unknown someone, but not the artist, decided to express him/herself by adding paint...

The artist may remove the installation.

But, it has reached generations...

More info can be found at: Lot's Tribe


Anonymous jen said...

by the way I saw these sculpture resurface at St. Mark's cathedral when I went to the labyrinth walk on new year's. they are now brown.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Rethabile said...


4:40 AM  

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