Civic Plaza's Holocaust Memorial
The Invisible Master Piece.
It would be kind of crazy to think a place like Albuquerque, New Mexico would have a holocaust memorial. And if they did then why would they ? Well for starters New Mexico is also a place that has held numerous immigrants. With having people from different backgrounds means different cultures. Here in New Mexico there is many items around the state representing different cultures. As in the likes of artwork, food, music, clothes. Obviously the holocaust is apart the worlds history, but extremely apart of the jewish people’s history.
This monument is placed in downtown Albuquerque. Off of third and Tijeras, in the civic plaza. In which, civic plaza is nothing close to busy.The statue is placed at the egde of civic plaza, so even if you are in civic plaza you can not see it.If you are in a car, driving in the street you can not see it due to the trees covering it. There is no attractions in civic plaza to have people in it. The monument is located in front of a Hyatt hotel, across the street from the a Bank of Albuquerque, right by a parking garage entrance.There are tons of trees without leaves on the branches that surround the art piece, which makes the art piece hard to see because the way it blinds in with the trees so well. There was good intentions of placing the monument in civic plaza because of it being in a downtown area and them thinking people would be in civic plaza to see it. Where they placed it exactly was not good area due to people just coming and going, and thats if they even come. Also them making it super close to the street kind of makes, nobody care for the significance of the statue, because they hardly even to look at it. So the space of the area really hurts this monument due to the location and the buildings, objects that surround it. Even if the Hyatt and Bank of Albuquerque was not there, it might even lose more visitors. People only really come to that area to stay the night or go to the bank, which helps bring people to that area. Even then the monument hardly gets anybody to notice it.
And not really looking at the monument realizing that it is art and jus some tree look like. If a person is standing at the Bank of Alburquerque across the street, they honsetly just might think it’s a tree. If a person is by the parking garage they might actually glance at the piece, but think nothing of it. Since this monument is fairly new, alot of the space around it has not changed. The Hyatt hotel and the Bank of Albuquerque are also some of the newest additions, to the area. So since 1998 the area has not changed too much,expect for the buildings they added that surrounds the monument.
The Monument Itself
The Holocaust mounment was built in 1998 by a sculptor Jake Lovato. The date it was officially dediacted to the city was January 1st 1998. 1 The monument was built with steel and granite pillars. The pillars all have important facts on them regarding the Holocaust. The look of the building is a metal sculpture that depicts bodies rising in a smoke stack. Five triangular columns(panels) surrounding the sculpture and each columns includes info about the holocaust. Letting people know about important events of the holocaust and some things that went on during that period of time. Obviously with it being a memorial you can go visit it. From a distance most people would think it is honestly nothing important. When the mounment lights at night or early in the afternoon when near it you can see the people and the smoke on the mounment.
Representation in the Piece
This monumemt does represent the jewish people and shines light on holocaust, but this monment represents just more than the jewish community. The artist himself Jake Lovato was using his gift of welding, to portray the Holocaust2. Due to the fact he learned a lot about the Holocaust, before he made the piece. In a interview Jake stated “This sculpture was a blessing for me to share my gift of welding and artistic talent. I learned a lot about the holocaust and the suffering of Jews”3. So he used this piece to also shine light on the Jews pain. The piece also shines a light on the different cultures that can be found here in New Mexico. You can find different items symbolizing different cultures around here in New Mexico 4. Like there are certain pieces of art representing the African American culture throughout the city of Alburquerque.This sticks out because not very many states have as many cultures as New Mexico does, or they don’t embrace as much. This what help makes the New Mexico landscpae so great, is the diverse shown throughout the landscape.This helps shows the great deal of respect that New Mexico has for it’s people and the places that they came from.
What makes this art piece so invisible is the fact people everyday walk, drive past it without really noticing that it’s there.Even on the internet you won’t find nothing more than the basic information on the piece. Just to get to the basic info, you have to type in Albuquerque Holocaust Monument. Even then it is hardly any basic information on it, because google thinks your talking about the Holocaust Memorial here in Albuquerque. On google you can not find out why it was built, how the artist came up with this idea and etc. Google hardly mentions anything about the controversy regarding the statue5. Some people of the Jewish community did not want the statue to be built. From their perspective the monument was reliving a very horrible point in history, that should not be glorified. In their eyes the monument was glorifying the Holocaust, and who would want to praise such a horrible event. They did not know the Artist’s intent on why he he made it, because they simply did not care. It’s the same when people try to find information on the monument online and get hardly anything. Due to the fact people just simply not caring about the piece.
Public Arts Archive. Public Arts Memorial: Albuquerque, New Mexico.Public Arts Archive: Making Public Arts More Public. [n.d.] ↩
Sante Fe Community College. SFCC - Sante Fe, New Mexico. SFCC:Home, People, Jake Lovato. [n.d] ↩
Sloppy Noodle. Sloppy Noodle - Gallup, New Mexico. sloppynoodle:On, Art, Hunting, Running, and Outreach: A Day with Artist, Jake Lovato. [n.d.] ↩
WayMarking. The Holocaust Memorial- Albuquerque, NM. waymarking.com. [n.d.] ↩
The New York Times Magazine.Holocaust Revulsionism - New York, New York.Holocaust Revulsionism: Magazine, Holocaust Revulsionsim. [n.d.] ↩