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Memories So Fair and Bright

Kimetha Vanderveen’s paintings are about the interaction of materiality and light, the bond between the palpable and ephemeral world in which we live.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

14 replies on “New York’s AIDS Memorial Looks Like a Bus Shelter”

  1. How did it transform into a bus shelter? I’ll never know… because I can’t see any of this post below the word “BEFORE” in the top image. I’ve tried reloading the page repeatedly, in both Firefox and IE. I have this problem all the time on Hyperallergic. You guys have a great site, but something about your code seems to break a lot of browsers. Not good for an art site…

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Maximus, but we don’t understand. The whole thing is one image long image (text and images). Perhaps your browser is having issues loading large images?

      1. OK… I guess I am getting the top of the image, then. Again, I’ve had this problem frequently with Hyperallergic. I don’t seem to have it on any other site. Bummer. I did manage to find renderings of the memorial elsewhere, so thanks for calling my attention to it.

        1. We will look into it. Are you viewing this on a tablet, smartphone, desktop? Anything you can tell us (including browser version) will help us troubleshoot this.

          1. I’m on a WinXP PC, using Firefox 19.0.2 (but seeing the same problem in IE8). I just sent you a couple of screenshots. Thanks for looking into the problem!

    2. Hi Maximus, Thanks for reading and sorry about the trouble.

      I’ve never heard about this issue before and can’t reproduce it. Can you send any additional details (browser/OS Version?) or a screenshot to info [at] so I can try to track down and fix the problem? Thank you.

  2. I use IE and Chrome and I’ve never had a problem with your site. But I have a HUGE problem with this memorial. I’ve lived here since 1978. Almost all of my friends died in the 80s and early 90s. Many lived and died near this place. They deserve something better than a design that clearly came from clearly frustrated designers. I can hear the poor designers talking. “If they are going to abort all the good ideas, we’ll give them an abortion.” I’d rather have my ghosts left in peace than have them embarrassed by this disaster.

  3. You know when I look at this I think about maya linn and that stroke of genius on the Washington mall, when design by committee did work. It seems that minimalism has emerged as the de facto style for memorials like this. And it continues the long American and really Calvinist tradition of facing down intense feelings with sober simple architecture. I’ll judge the memorial when I visit it. But I hope the designers find a way to make the visitor experience better than the sterility and coldness that minimalist structures like this can exude

  4. Who needs a piece of art-by-committee when the AIDS quilt is the real memorial and art object that should be preserved and exhibited. I feel as if this is an example of selfish civic spending.

  5. I am so disappointed with Hrag.
    Look around us..
    Go outside your building, house or studio.
    Don’t you see how generic and poorly designed the world is around us.
    The structures going up today are cheaply built, most lack any artistic panache,
    The only goal for most structures/buildings going up is money.
    A quick return for developers and the investors.. Money in there pocket.
    The hell with great design, and some form of artistic uniqueness that could possibly last longer 10 or 15 years.
    Developers and property owners have very little artistic or architectural education.
    75-100 years ago they relied on architects and trained designers/professionals to help overcome there shortcomings.
    Today architects and designers are just a tool.
    Maybe if all artists were told to get in line and create art that would satisfy the generic public. Would this change your view of the so called “bus station”?
    This little article or snippet of “news” is result of how we all have been dumbed down to believe a four cornered stucco box with a few windows is considered “OK” and contributing to our society and civilization.
    While something like this structure is considered a bus station.
    If you don’t understand the piece of art, in this case a piece of architecture, is it ok to call it “hideous”. Is this your professional opinion as a critic?

    1. You’re disappointed in me but not the AIDS memorial? Yeah, that makes sense. This is public art, and not some private pet project, so it is open to scrutiny.

      “Today architects and designers are just a tool.”? Only if they allow themselves to be.

      Btw, justifying something because other things are mediocre is not a justification, it’s a cop out.

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