The clouds are lifting
Artists explore emotional response to 9/ 11 attacks in new exhibit in New York.
ARTIST Christopher Saucedo, dressed in black, stood with his hands in his pockets next to his mixed media artwork at the National Sept 11 Memorial & Museum in Manhattan.
His brother Gregory, a firefighter, died in the line of duty in the collapse of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in the Sept 11, 2001, attacks.
Saucedo's work is part of an upcoming exhibit, Rendering The Unthinkable: Artists Respond To 9/ 11, in which 13 New York Citybased artists explore their reactions to the airplane attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died.
“We thought, there needs to be another way in to remembering, and we realised that art is another way in,” said Alice M. Greenwald, director of the 9/ 11 Memorial Museum, last Thursday.
“It gives you that immediacy of the emotional truth of that moment, and you see through another person's eyes and through their artistic practice, how they struggled with the very same emotions that all of us felt.”
The exhibit stands as a counterpoint to the museum's permanent exhibitions, which tell the story of the Sept 11 attacks and commemorate those who died with wrenchingly familiar sights as well as artefacts.
The art ranges broadly in form, from paintings and sculptures to works on paper and video.
Saucedo, for instance, pressed linen pulp on handmade paper to create World Trade Center As A Cloud, which comprises three panels. American painter, sculptor Eric Fischl, who lost a friend in the attacks, is displaying a bronze sculpture, Tumbling Woman.
The three founding members of performance art company Blue Man Group made Exh ibit 13, a four- minute video of burnt papers, letters, business forms and personal notes that blew from the World Trade Centre into the yard of their rehearsal space in Brooklyn.
Chris Wink, co- founder of the group and original Blue Man, said creating the video was a way of processing the attacks.
“We didn't know how we could go back to our sort of comedic work given what we were feeling and what was going on,” said Wink.
Wink said the real purpose of the video was to provide people with a gentler, more reflective space that was less alarmist than what people were seeing in the news.
“It's like each piece of paper represents a different story, a different community, a different system, a different life interrupted,” adds Wink, noting that he will be taking his kids to the exhibit.
“Memorialising is very important to people directly affected, but, of course, who wasn't affected indirectly?”
Rendering Th e Unthinkable: Artists Respond To 9/ 11 is the first major special exhibition for the museum. It will open to the public on Sept 12. – Reuters
Some of the paintings by artist Manju Shandler at the new exhibition at the 9/ 11 Memorial Museum in New York titled Rendering The Unthinkable: Artists Respond To 9/ 11.
Works by artist Todd Stone are seen at the exhibition’s preview. — Reuters
Artist Ejay Weiss speaks with media in front of his work 9/ 11
Elegies, created in 2001/ 2002.