John Digby and Mark Khidekel, "Skyline Remembered, Skyline Sought"

The exhibition is a reflection and introspection of the historical events of September 11th. It presents two New Yorkers, artist and poet John Digby and architect and artist Mark Khidekel.

Skyline Remembered, Skyline Sought
Russian American Cultural Center
On view from: September 10 - October 8, 2002

The exhibition is a reflection and introspection of the historical events of September 11th. It presents two New Yorkers, artist and poet John Digby and architect and artist Mark Khidekel. A series of collages by Digby, entitled "Homage to the Fallen", and architectural projects, "Evolving New York Skylights" and "Vertical Highway", by Khidekel strive to portray the failure of these monumental events to stifle artistic contemplation and human hope for the future.

The "Homage to the Fallen" series, begun spontaneously on September 11th, 2001, is composed entirely of paste drawing on acid-free paper. John Digby has worked exclusively in black and white paper collage for more than twenty-five years. He is well-known for his commitment to archival materials. The series of 20 collages (20 symbolizing the catastrophic date 9+11) uses color and shape as an expression of the emotions and reactions of that day. The movement between light and dark, of flat and raised surfaces merge to form a window of expression into the ordeal of the victims of that day.

St. Petersburg-born architect Mark Khidekel presents a series of drawings and models implementing his vision for the WTC area as a memorial and living site. Above the wounded area, marked with two mysteriously lit symbolic candles, a gigantic structure on pillars will rise. "Vertical Highway" is Khidekel's futuristic vision of a new type of dwelling that would combine the American dream of having a private house, implemented in suburbia, and the rapidly growing demand for living in an urban environment like Manhattan. Proposed for the WTC area, it could convey the philosophy of the memorial site and a challenge for a ground-breaking endeavor in architectural development. The project envisions the construction of a multi-faceted skyscraper. The spiral nature of the highway leads to open-air plots at various levels, upon which the all-American ideal of living can be built: a house, garage, garden and even swimming pool. Khidekel's idea is to create a "second nature": the idea that, through architecture, we can create a fully new reality and natural environment.

At the western edge of the area facing the Hudson River, the architect proposes an installation entitled "Evolving New York Skylights", that will focus on the prospective view . It conceptualizes his vision of a monument to the history and spirit of New York City. Seven glass panels, etched and painted with glass transparent colors, and illuminated by light directed through the side of each individual panel, comprise the installation. The etchings will capture the light creating silhouettes of the city, each depicting a different stage of NYC's development. The installation begins with the natural landscape and progresses through time until its present day condition without the Twin Towers. Incorporated into the installation, sounds of the environment will be used to accentuate the visual experience, in an attempt to recreate the reality of various stages in time, as well as the natural setting.

This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, City of New York Departmen t of Cultural Affairs and Dynamo Development Co.

Russian American Cultural Center
55 John Street 14 Floor NYC 10038 (train to Fulton street)
Phone/Fax: (212) 744-5168

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Dates: May 9-30, 2002
Contact us at (212) 744-5168 or

Review of John Digby's project "Mandelstam Series in Manhattan"
International Channel