Remembering September 11
"Remembering September 11: A Series of
Exhibitions" will be on display in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College from December 7 through December 21, 2001, and from January 3 through January 19, 2002.
An opening reception on Friday, December 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. will include a gallery talk at 5:30 by the exhibition curator William Williams.
William Williams, photography curator and professor of fine arts at Haverford College, organized this exhibit in reaction to the events of September 11. The show is arranged as a series of four exhibitions: black and white seascape photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, United States Signal Corps photographs taken before and after the atomic bomb explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, photographs by Paul Strand and Lewis Hines and a silk screen print by Jacob Lawrence depicting images of workers, and an installation by Williams memorializing those who died in the terrorist attacks including members of the Haverford College community.
These works, the majority of which come from Haverford's collection, were selected by Williams to represent a range of emotions through visual evidence of the destructive capabilities of mankind to calming seascapes and images celebrating the human spirit. A memorial installation by Williams brings together these diverse works as an acknowledgement of atrocities committed and as a tribute to lives lost that ultimately leaves viewers with a sense of hope.
The exhibition begins with a display of 20 photographs taken by the United States Signal Corps prior to and immediately following America's bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The black and white images include U.S. military reconnaissance photos and those taken in areas of the two cities after the bombing. Accompanying these photographs will be The Limited Editions' printing of Hiroshima, a collection of silk screens by Jacob Lawrence which powerfully illustrate American's use of the atomic bomb against Japan and the dawning of the nuclear age.
Juxtaposed to the photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be black and white images of the vast wonder and beauty of the world's oceans by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Born in Tokyo in 1948 just as Japan was emerging from the horrors of World War II, Sugimoto has received world-wide acclaim for three major series of his works, including Seascapes.
The 50 images from his Seascapes series, which are on loan from a private collection, consist of photographs of the world's oceans taken over a ten-year period. Each image was made with an 11 x 14 format camera at different times of day from exactly the same perspective. Williams is preserving the sequence in which they were originally displayed in the U.S. so that they appear to the viewer as a day's cycle (from night to morning to mid-day to night again.) Put together as a series, the images create a sense of calm and peace.
The exhibition also includes a memorial wall as a tribute to those killed in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania including a list of people from the Haverford College community who perished on September 11. This part of the exhibit will include front pages of national newspapers and magazines from the week following the tragedy. Created by Williams, this installation is meant to conceptualize what he and many others have experienced.
A third section of the exhibit entitled, "Images of Workers," includes photographs by Paul Strand and Lewis Hine and a silk screen print by Jacob Lawrence depicting the worker. Williams included these photographs from the College's permanent collection as a way of illustrating an appreciation of the worker. "In the aftermath of September 11, the efforts of emergency workers and volunteers laboring at the sites of the attacks came to be recognized and respected as the actions of individuals performing difficult and dangerous work in the face of destruction and terror, in the hope of saving others," says Williams. "In this exhibition, these images speak to the triumph of the human spirit."
Williams believes that seen as a whole the works of the exhibition offer a constructive way for people to deal with the September 11 tragedy.