Lexi Yost. “Battered Columns.” Dublin. Ireland, 2016
In the heart of Dublin, we reached a building with huge, thick marble pillars, and a gold plaque boasting the title: “The General Post Office”. Still used as a post office today, the Romanesque-building was appealing to my architecture-loving eyes, and I quickly snapped a few pictures of it like the one pictured below. Like much of the architecture in Dublin, this building was gorgeous. As we stood on the pavement and took pictures of the pillars and methodically precise stonework, the professor piped up from behind: “This building was an important part of Irish History. In 1916, The Easter Rising, a battle between the Irish Rebels and the Brits, happened right here. Countless men died. If you look at the pillars, you can still even see the bullet holes.” With those words, my whole perception of the scene changed. What first appealed to me as grandiose architecture now revealed itself as a battleground survivor in a centuries-old war. Elizabeth Hill Boone points out in the chapter of her article,”Introduction: Writing and Recording Knowledge:” the general assumption is that “a visual system is either ‘art’ at one end or it is ‘writing’ at the other”(Boone, 1). The battle-scarred building is not only art (as it is architecture), but the bullet holes forever encased within the stone make it also a piece of literature. They tell a story of their own, even if it is one without language. It’s all too true that things aren’t always as they appear. Sometimes, the deepest meanings require a more perceptive look, and assumptions must be disregarded.