September 18, 2014
In the essay “The Uncommon Life of Common Objects” by Akiko Busch she states that objects tell stories more eloquently than people. She gives the example of FBI agents taking an assortment of physical objects from the Staten Island landfill where debris still resides from what used to be the World Trade Center. These FBI agents were at the landfill for months pouring over rubble in order to collect more information as to the happenings of the towers collapse. And during this time they acquired small mementos such as a globe, a paperweight, pieces of metal and concrete, and an American flag. When this incident became public knowledge families of the victims of 9/11 were outraged by this horrific act. These FBI agents were accused at best of removing evidence from a crime scene and at worse grave robbing. The reason why these people felt so strongly about the agents taking these invaluable objects was because they were the last things that their loved ones either saw or touched so it wouldn’t be right for someone who didn’t even know them to have a piece of something that was not rightfully theirs. This argument can be said for Joel Sternfeld’s photograph of Warren Ave which uses it objects to clearly express its message unlike Pepon Osorio’s Badge of Honor.
Warren Avenue at 23rd street in Detroit, Michigan was created in October 1993. It depicts Malice Green a man that was beaten to death by two police officers because they thought that he had drugs on him. The memorial image is located on the outside of a building and includes a portrait of Malice Green with the year he was born and the year he died. It also includes flowers, candles, and quotes. The mural was created by the community with the help of a local artist. This memorial image is the exact spot where Malice Green was murdered by two police officers. The community along with a local artist came together to tell the story of what happened to him.
Badge of Honor by