Like the body parts that have been mysteriously washing up on northern Pacific shores for years, the head of an Asian girl has appeared at the water's edge of the Olympic Sculpture Park. This head is temple-like, enigmatic. The eyes are closed. It is pure, sparkling white. Elongated like a stretched hologram, the head rises four stories into the white-cloudy sky. It's elegant and lullingly beautiful.
Dignitaries gather at the base of the neck. This is late May, and it's an occasion: the ribbon-cutting on the largest permanent sculpture added to the Olympic Sculpture Park since the park opened in 2006. The 46-foot-tall head is called Echo, after the Greek myth. She was created using computer modeling. The artist is 59-year-old Jaume Plensa, who traveled from Spain to be on hand. Mayor Ed Murray gives the official Seattle welcome.
"It is just an incredible opportunity to be here to introduce this incredible work of art," the mayor begins. "This is an incredible gift... We also have an incredible exhibit from Spain at the art museum... an incredible example of our two countries and people."
What the mayor says is completely blank, but the blankness of his speech, the emptying out of "incredible," matches the silence of the great blind-mute rising up behind him.