Memory, visibility, and public space: Reflections on commemoration(s) of 9/11

Ekaterina V. Haskins, Justin P. Derose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article explores three loci of commemoration of 9/11 in New York City: the street memorial exemplified by makeshift shrines, posters of the missing, and graffiti; the museum installations that reflected on these street memorials and on the media's role in our collective experience of 9/11 and its aftermath; and the contested site of the permanent memorial at Ground Zero. The authors argue that both street memorials and museum exhibitions exemplify a tension between utopian and critical relations between the art and its public and that a balance between utopia and critique is perhaps the greatest challenge for the yet-unfinished memorial project in downtown Manhattan. The authors' goal is not so much to propose an ideal design for the memorial as to reflect on the aesthetic and political function of commemoration within the context of debates over public art and public space in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-393
Number of pages17
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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