Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

Remember the Maine, 1995


MATERIALS: Paper, glass, wood

    I took the 19th century slogan 'Remember the Maine!' literally -as an action to be performed, an imperative from the past. But I choose not to remember the dead, or the Spanish American War, or the Spanish Empire's loss of all its remaining colonies. Instead, I tried to remember the U.S.S. Maine, the object, the ship. Still, all I could find, buried in an article in a marine engineering publication, were the blue prints of the ship's propellers. I re-drew them to actual scale. They serve as  illustrations in my reprint of the reports that the master ship builder of the Maine sent to congress. I also made a model of the Maine in a bottle. There are two sets of drawing/book/model ship: left propeller and right propeller.