ISSN: 2042793X
First published in 2011
2 issues per volume
Volume 6 Issue 1-2
Cover Date: September 2017
Memory of absence: Contemporary counter-monuments
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Authors:  Sabrina DeTurk 
DOI: 10.1386/aps.6.1-2.81_1


In 1992, James Young published an article examining the rise of the counter-monument in Germany. According to Young, the counter-monument provokes its viewers, demands interaction, has the possibility to change over time and insists that memory work be the burden of the viewer, not of the monument itself. While Young focused his attention on a particular set of Holocaust memorials built in Germany in the late 1980s, his formulation can be usefully applied to other contemporary memorials that increasingly incorporate particular design elements that mark them as counter-monuments. This article considers the design of several recent memorials in terms of their aesthetic and physical function as counter-monuments and identifies a new trend in memorial design, the creation of memorial museums, which further expands and complicates the role of these memorials.
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