The Lost WTC Memorial

Artists Meet Frustration at Ground Zero

But the artists had focused on the everyday realities of ground zero. Says Miss: "What we're seeing is that there can't be time given there to the emotional layer, to things that have meaning beyond square footage and footprints."

Miss sees herself as someone on the front lines of the struggle to integrate art into the public realm, so while she gave up on Moving Perimeter, she never abandoned the idea that something more has to happen now. She issued a call to artists, designers, landscape architects, and architects, who are invited to propose temporary memorials on a site of their choosing anywhere in the metropolitan area. Miss, Maltby, and Marshall plan to organize an exhibition of the proposals and may be able to secure funding for the installation of these works.

The memorial process sits at the heart of the ground zero tug-of-war. Contini, the new appointee, seems well qualified to navigate between the art and business worlds. She founded Creative Time and worked most recently for Merrill Lynch. But the huge emotional investment here, among other things, will make her job a tough one—even if the proposed land swap of ground zero for city airports takes one of the major players, the Port Authority, out of the picture. And it all seems to be starting rather late.

This digitally enhanced image shows part of the plan for Moving Perimeter.
illustration: Mary Miss Studio
This digitally enhanced image shows part of the plan for Moving Perimeter.

Several months ago, LMDC's families advisory council formed two subcommittees to work on the memorial. Spokesperson Nancy Poderycki reports that one group is talking about "what qualities a memorial would embody, whether it would incorporate earth, water, light," for example. The other is focused on the process: "Would there be an international competition? Would there be a committee?"

Miss reports that in early meetings with the families, she heard talk of reflecting pools, eternal flames, weeping willows, names in stone, the tried and true. "Artists could show many ways to honor their loved ones," says Miss. "Artists could open the thinking."

The call for proposals for temporary memorials can be found at The deadline is August 30.

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