THE UNBORN SOLDIER
Unborn Soldier is a monumental collaboration between a Bosnian pianist/composer, Amela Vucina, and American artist Lowell Darling.
The sculpture consists of 196 slabs of white Croatian marble, one for every member of the United Nations. The rectangular stones measure 7cm in depth, 30cm in length, and 50cm in width. On the face of each stone are carved the words UNBORN SOLDIER (in each nationís language.) They will be set in a circle with the approximate circumference of 108 meters, 34.4 m in diameter. Standing in the center of the circle stands a grand piano.
Each stone is being offered to the nation the stone represents. Each nation is requested to install their stone in their nationís capital. The stones are reminders that wars begin over disputes created before the soldiers who die in them are born.
We are attempting to install the Unborn Soldier in as many nations as possible, each time leaving one stone at the end of the performance. Local musicians and artists will be invited to participate, as is everyone.
At each installation the number of stones will decrease by one until each nation is a participant and the Unborn Soldier has been distributed entirely.Plans are being made for initial installations in Mostar, Dubrovnik, and Berlin. The final installation will be in New York, ideally at the United Nations Plaza.
For inquiries regarding Unborn Soldier or to offer an invitation to have Unborn Soldier installed and performed in your nation, please contact email@example.com.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNBORN SOLDIER:
In the early 1990s my nephew Adam was employed by the US Department of Commerce. He had worked for Bill Clintonís first presidential campaign. In 1996 Adam had decided to return to his education. He was asked to do one last job for Clinton, which was to serve as point man for a mission that would send business experts to Bosnia. The idea was to beef up the nationsí economy, to rebuild their basic infrastructures.
Adam had promised to talk to people in the Clinton administration about installing an Unborn Soldier monument somewhere on the White House grounds. He told me to email him when the website went on-line. He would pass it along, perhaps to Bill or Hillary in person. Adam had worked for them for a few years, since before any of the rest of us knew who the Clintons were. (In Clintonís memoir, Adam is the boy who offered to ride his bike across the country if Bill would run for President.)
On the morning the Unborn Soldier web site went on-line I was preparing the email to Adam. I stopped to answer a phone call. It was my brother Darrell, Adamís father. He told me that Adam had died in Croatia.
The plane was also carrying Adamís boss, Ron Brown, the Secretary of Commerce, plus several American investors, entrepreneurs, their interpreters and a couple of reporters. Their plane crashed in the hills near Dubrovnik. Hillary Clinton had flown on the same plane the week before, and if she wasnít dodging bullets, she was still in danger. Military air transport planes donít have the same safety devices as commercial carriers. They also carry no black box. When a citizen flies on one of these planes their insurance plans do not cover them. (The US government gave Adamís parents $10,000 for the loss of their son.) We are all in ways victims, directly or indirectly, of war.
Adam died over problems that were left unsolved before he was born, another unborn soldier. I put the Unborn Soldier project aside after he kept his promise to introduce me to the Clintons, but I hadnít wanted the introduction to be made at his funeral. I wanted the Unborn Soldier on the front page of the Washington Post, but instead I was holding my brother when he collapsed while talking to an army of reporters and photographers on his front porch.
I met Amela Vucina in Berlin while living there in 2007. She had been living here since losing everything she owned in Bosnia, during the same war that indirectly killed my nephew. Amela offered to help me find a site for the installation in her country. She also offered to compose a piano concerto for the Unborn Soldier. At the installation a grand piano will be placed in the circle of stones.
(If the monumental aspects of the original project become an economic impossibility, small monuments will be created on-site around the world, in every nation we are allowed to enter. We will move from place to place, across as many borders as possible, and work with whoever wants to work with us, building monuments made of whatever materials are available.)
ďThis work is a regrettably timeless.Ē