What is the relationship between Edward Hopper and the Kennedy's, against the background of the mythical peninsula Cape Cod? What symbolism is the basis of the new World Trade Center in New York City, and how are the people there handling 9/11? What can we learn from the pictures of a perished Jewish family, in relationship with our remembrance of the Holocaust?
These are some of the questions I asked myself, and they led me from Amsterdam to New York City, Luebeck, Bonn and Cape Cod. A journey through the lives of Robert and John F. Kennedy, the works of Magnum photographer Paul Fusco, the nauralist-writer Henry Beston, and the conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader. Throug the lives of August Macke and his beloved son Walter, and his mysterious communist girlfriend Gabriele Stammberger. Through the sad fate of the Jewish Emmering family, and the renowned Stolpersteine artist Gunter Demnig. And, in the end, star architect Daniel Libeskind, and the Manhattan based designers Julian Laverdiere and Gustavo Bonevardi.
The Art of Remembrance focusses on the interaction between art and history, personal experiences and major historical events, objective reality and the meaning of artworks, cities, architecture and landscapes. The book is a mix of travel report and historiography, and contains unexpected encounters and observations, switching back and forth between past and present.
Above all it is a tribute to the immense vitality of art and architecture in times of crisis, and recovery.