The first, most familiar line of the John Donne poem configured in the shape of the numbers 911.
911. The three words spoken have become pop culture's vernacular for 'emergency' ( i.e. "What's the 911?") In thinking further I am brought to a much different aspect of the 911 service- that is, the idea of community support, the commitment of the many to the few. Its the very foundation of a civilized society. It is a community at its best. I am reminded of the sentiment behind the classic John Donne poem (written in 1624) -
No man is an island entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as if a monor of thy friends or of thine own were;
Any mans's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
..So, my objective in creating an artwork for the 911 Emergency Facility is to recognize the noble efforts and importance of what goes on in this building, while providing a pleasing area for those who are providing this service to sit and take a break (...a sort of oasis).
Red Carnelian granite , 18 inches x 30 ft. x 45ft. total
Commissioned by the City of Chicago
for the plaza of the 911 Emergency Facility, 1411 West Madison Street
completed August 1997