IGIRAMA ( formed from Greek ‘aarde’ + ‘sight’ ) is a word given by the Dutch artist WILLIAM VERSTRAETEN to describe the work of art which he developed from 2003-2009. First presented in 2010 in Middelburg, The Netherlands and in 2011 in New York City, the IGIRAMA is the classical panorama and the contemporary skywalk combined in a new, twenty-first century artwork. While the classical panorama places the horizon around the spectators like a lasso, the IGIRAMA manages to capture the spectators in a magic bubble by placing them high above the world.
From an elevated point of view photographs are taken horizontally and vertically. The mirror-printed, extremely high quality, photographs are mounted on the inside of a dome shaped construction which is then placed upside down 5 feet above a mirrored floor. When entering the IGIRAMA the visitors experience the sensation of walking at the same height the original photographs were taken from. The IGIRAMA is accessible for more then one hundred visitors simultaneously at the same moment.
For a work of art meant to be placed in the public space the context, the situation and the site are of utmost importance. The soul of the site (genius loci): the special history, the atmospheric quality, as well as the place of the soul (locus genii): an event or a social subject. Both perspectives converge when William Verstraeten transfers his IGIRAMA to one of most sensitive locations in the world: Ground Zero - the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
If one imagine it placed in the heart of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, people, standing on a large round mirrored floor, will find themselves walking through the air 1300 ft above Ground Zero without having the Twin Towers beneath them. The IGIRAMA allows them to travel through space and time. Through the emotions this will invoke, through the unique combination of work of art and location, this TWIN TOWERS IGIRAMA will surely make a profound and lasting impression. It can give the National September 11 Memorial & Museum a soul, a beating heart, and therefore makes it a place of even greater interest that will draw visitors for many decades to come.
William VERSTRAETEN ¡1951 is an artist and curator working and living in Middelburg, The Netherlands. Since 1975 he had numerous exhibitions and commissions. His realized commissioned works won several international prizes and awards and he received many subsidies and grants including, among others, from the Netherlands Foundations for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. From 1990 onwards, he has specialized in creating works of art for places in society where the contradictions are persistent and emotionally charged; open wounds and often with mayor social interests. It takes several years for each project to be completed; therefore he works on different projects at the same time, with themes ranging from terrorism to nuclear power to sustainability - the world’s future. As a curator he has organized many exhibitions in several different locations. In 1979 he founded De Vleeshal in Middelburg, a foundation that realizes contemporary art exhibitions and projects.