Proposal for a Public Artwork dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, A Collaboration with Robert Olson
The design proposal comprises a pair of figures which together represent Poe’s personality and his writing. The theme of doubling, which continually reappears in his work (as twins, dichotomies, mirroring, the doubling of narrator and author and doppelgängers) seems to have arisen out of early childhood experiences of trauma and dislocation. The reality of Poe then is the energetic and productive but fractured and doubled person who was able to transform the raw materials of his life experiences into art.
The proposal addresses Poe’s doubled and fractured nature by presenting him with his back to a second, female figure who is the same size as Poe. The two figures face in opposite directions. The female figure is Poe’s context when viewing the sculpture from Poe’s side. The two figures are divided from one another by a space that opens up into a chasm in the base through which her shroud falls.