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Troubled Waters: Liquid Memory in the Wake of Disaster

Troubled Waters: Liquid Memory in the Wake of Disaster Lauren ravaLico Troubled Waters Liquid Memory in the Wake of Disaster Artists who undertake the commemoration of a disaster are faced with a dizzying array of aesthetic choices that ae ff ct how a calamitous tragedy will be tacked to the fabric of collective memory. This essay considers the strikingly similar implica- tions of compositional and formal choices in two visual representations of disaster which, at first glance, bear no resemblance: Théodore Géricault’s 1819 tableau, The Raft of the Medusa [ Le Radeau de la Méduse], and Michael Arad’s Reec fl ting Ab- sence, a memorial to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. Géricault’s Romantic painting (Figure 1) depicts a group of survivors of the ship- wrecked Medusa, the frigate in a small fleet of warships that sailed from Rochefort, a port on France’s mid- A tlantic coast, on June 17, 1816, and which ran aground on July 2 aer st ft riking a reef by a bank of shoals near the coast of Mauritania. The pri- mary mission of the expedition was to reclaim from British occupation several t-er ritorial outposts in Senegal that French http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Troubled Waters: Liquid Memory in the Wake of Disaster

The Comparatist , Volume 41 – Nov 1, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Lauren ravaLico Troubled Waters Liquid Memory in the Wake of Disaster Artists who undertake the commemoration of a disaster are faced with a dizzying array of aesthetic choices that ae ff ct how a calamitous tragedy will be tacked to the fabric of collective memory. This essay considers the strikingly similar implica- tions of compositional and formal choices in two visual representations of disaster which, at first glance, bear no resemblance: Théodore Géricault’s 1819 tableau, The Raft of the Medusa [ Le Radeau de la Méduse], and Michael Arad’s Reec fl ting Ab- sence, a memorial to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Lower Manhattan. Géricault’s Romantic painting (Figure 1) depicts a group of survivors of the ship- wrecked Medusa, the frigate in a small fleet of warships that sailed from Rochefort, a port on France’s mid- A tlantic coast, on June 17, 1816, and which ran aground on July 2 aer st ft riking a reef by a bank of shoals near the coast of Mauritania. The pri- mary mission of the expedition was to reclaim from British occupation several t-er ritorial outposts in Senegal that French

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 1, 2017

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