Proposal for a Public Artwork dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, A Collaboration with Robert Olson
The design combines traditional and contemporary forms and languages to convey the living legacy of Poe’s work. Its goal is to evoke a reader’s experience of Poe's work as well as reflect Poe’s love of puzzles and occult symbolism. The proposal features an interactive puzzle with a web of letters in bronze lit from within inside a base of pillars that contains a space evocative of funerary monuments. The space holds a portion of the shroud descending from above and presenting the puzzle to which Poe points and in which his words as a critic are hidden.
The memorial, in its unique design of figure and base and its placement in the Square, engenders an active engagement with the viewer that takes Poe from a duality with his female counterpart into a duality with the viewer, dramatizing Poe's importance today.