PRINT April 2012


absence as memorial

Aerial view of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York, 2011. Photo: Joe Woolhead.

LAST FALL, a trio of voids appeared in downtown New York. The National September 11 Memorial, which opened to the public one day after the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, is dominated by two monumental cavities where the 110-story towers once stood. Only a block away, Zuccotti Park’s spare granite landscape also resonates with absence, the crowds and tents that filled it through the early autumn having been cleared by the NYPD during a controversial maneuver in the wee hours of November 15. Like the memorial site, the plaza is now marked by what is not there, by the palpable absence of the community and structures that took root during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Zuccotti Park in its current physical form is in fact a product of the 9/11 attacks: Having suffered damage that day, the park, then known as Liberty Plaza, was renovated and reopened under its new name in

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