Beacon of Endurance

Krivanek+Breaux/ Art+Design

Frontal view in daytime -- the lower section fabricated of rusting steel; upper section fabricated of laser-cut stainless steel with aluminum substructure.
Detail of lower inscriptions -- passages written or spoken by Lincoln in his lifetime -- occupying a vertical space equal to his height. Inscriptions laser-cut through rusting steel, galvanized steel behind.
View upward to sky -- seeing through laser-cut stainless steel inscriptions to reveal the projection mechanisms inside.
Detail of back-lit upper inscriptions and projection of words at night -- projected words quiver slightly in the wind to suggest human vulnerabilities.
Close-up detail of upper inscriptions at night -- seeing projection mechanisms through the laser-cut inscriptions.

This sitework -- commissioned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum via the State of Illinois Art-in-Architecture Program -- symbolizes and articulates Abraham Lincoln’s significance to American life and culture, with a landmark artform that will have real presence, yet exhibit humility in its setting. The obelisk-like form is slightly tilted and torqued, to suggest human and constitutional traumas and foibles. Its materiality bridges from the industrial strength and perseverance of rusted steel rooted in the land to the impervious, laser-cut stainless steel of its upper form – reaching skyward. At nighttime, pinpoint spotlights mounted within on springy platforms, project words through steel gobos -- a Victorian Age technology. The artform will transform through illumination and the quivering projection of societal ideals and issues onto the Museum walls, to become a beacon of American endurance through decades of history, still unfolding.

BJ Krivanek
Joel Breaux
Christian McWhirter
Joel Breaux