All images courtesy of Rudy Lemcke
Artist: Rudy Lemcke
Location: San Francisco
Rudy Lemcke's vision of an AIDS memorial ("Garden," 1988) in San Francisco's
Castro district is a meditative, Zen Garden featuring a river of stones
flowing over black granite, complemented by large, bronze boulders for
seating. The memorial proved controversial within San Francisco's gay
community when city officials approved the proposal in 1988. Those opposed
said that a memorial should await a cure for AIDS, and the required $250,000
(to be raised privately) would be better spent on research or treatment.
Lemcke responded that others memorials, including the NAMES Project Quilt,
already existed and funding for arts and urban renewal projects was not
likely to be channeled toward health care.
In his words: "I certainly am in agreement that health care is the priority
issue. But psychological health, spiritual health, and political health are
also very real needs that must be acknowledged. The garden will help care
those nees. It will create a comforting place to express grief, a meditative
place to experience hope, and a permanent place to celebrate our identity."
The project is indefinitely on hold.