An important part of temporary art installations is that they are temporary. One of the more iconic tributes to the victims of the 9/11 attacks was the temporary art installation “Tribute in Light.” The two towers of light in lower Manhattan lit up the sky for about one month starting in March 2002. But we never forget, so in 2003 to commemorate the anniversary, the lights were again present. And the year after that too. In 2008, there were talks that it would be the final display, especially since the beams of light were interfering with birds’ migrational patterns. Nevertheless, they have been seen on every 9/11 anniversary since then and will be again visible tonight. The arts never forget too.
By the way, in order to ameliorate the bird situation, the lights are turned off for 20 minute periods to allow the birds to escape.
Last summer, I went to Paris and stumbled across an interesting painting in the Centre Pompidou. A cloudy image of what appeared to be the smoking towers that I saw on TV when I got home from school more than ten years ago. Gerhard Richter had originally painted it with brilliant flames, but later removed it. I think it creates an interesting effect where the towers are fading from existence but not our memories.