All posts tagged: September 11

Dan Witz WTC 9/11 Shrines

To mark the 10th Anniversary of the events that took place in NYC on September 11, 2001 we asked Street Artist Dan Witz to share with us his images of a series of shrines that he installed in New York during the summer of 2002. It seems appropriate that Street Art paid tribute and facilitated the public mourning and remembrance of those we lost; All manner of artists took to the streets at that time – and it never really stopped. We are thankful for the time and the effort of the many talents, mostly anonymous, who claimed the streets as their own and who buoyed us during those days. And we are thankful to Dan for sharing with us his work here.

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Dan Witz talks about his “WTC Shrines” –

“Starting at Ground Zero, following sight lines of the World Trade Center drawn in a star pattern on my map, I installed about 40 of these on the bases of light poles. At the time I was thinking a lot about art objects’ possible usefulness in the real world. For me paintings have often functioned as secular shrines—as visual instigators to reverie.

The week before September 11th I was up in the Bronx at a housing project photographing the shrine neighbors left at the doorstep of a murdered 9 year old girl (balloons, flowers, stuffed animals, family photos). I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly, it was just my way of sketching. Then the planes hit and the city parks filled with thousands of candles and flowers and other offerings. Again, I went to take photographs, not knowing what I actually wanted, just on an instinct. At the time I used a large format camera, the old style with the hood and long bellows. Every time I put the hood on and focused the ground glass, I got an unmistakably eerie feeling from all those candles—it was bizarre and chilling, and definitely paranormal. I’ll never forget it”

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Dan Witz. Thompson Street, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. 23rd Street and 6th Ave. NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

from a publicly posted poem entitled

Don’t Look for Me Anymore
(Alicia Vasquez)

don’t look for me anymore
it’s late and you are tired
your feet ache standing atop the ruins of our twins
day after day searching for a trace of me
your eyes are burning red
your hands cut bleeding sifting through rock
and your back crooked from endless hours of labor…

it’s my turn, I’m worried about you
watching as you sift through the ruins of what was
day after day in the soot and the rain
I ache in knowing you suffer my death

rest in knowing that my blood lies in the cracks and crevices
of these great lands I loved so much…

don’t look for me anymore
hold my children as I would
hold my brothers and sisters for me
since I can’t bring them up with the same
love you gave me
and I’ll rest assured
you’re watching my children

don’t look for me anymore
go home and rest…

Signed A. Vasquez, found on 9/14/01 on the “Wailing Wall” at Grand Central Station

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Dan Witz. Battery Park, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Financial District, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Weehawken, NJ (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Water Street, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Fulton and Broadway, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Grand Street, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Greenwich Ave. NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Ground Zero, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. Jersey City, NJ (photo © Dan Witz)

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Dan Witz. SOHO, NYC (photo © Dan Witz)

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Martha Cooper and Remembering 9/11

This week many New Yorkers are thinking about where they were on 9/11/2001 when the planes hit the World Trade Center Towers and what the city felt like in the days, weeks, and months that followed. There are many questions that never were answered, and there are many consequences that are still to unveil. An incredibly diverse city in so many ways, our unity was automatic and sincere. We already knew each other and we knew we all had been hurt and we were all changed by those events. While others looked at it as an American attack, New Yorkers felt a wound to the place we had made together, our beloved dirty beautiful hard and scrappy city. Today it is painful to go back and contemplate those days and wonder what happened, why, and at what cost.

brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-9-11-tenth-anniversary-web-6Martha Cooper: Remembering 9/11. De La Vega. (photo © Martha Cooper)

World renowned graffiti and Street Art photographer Martha Cooper had been documenting New York as a journalist and ethnographer for a quarter century when the streets of the city were flooded by raw sentiments and visual communications expressed with marker, pencil, paint, – whatever was at hand – in the days that followed 9/11.  Those incredibly personal desperate acts of expression were gazed upon and reflected on by neighbors and strangers as we attempted in vain to explain the world to one another. To remember a little of what it was like, she shares with us her photographs from those days.

“9/11 happened to all of us. It was a collective experience that defined the outset of the uneasy, globally interdependent twenty-first century. Nowhere, however, were the raw terror and tragic consequences of 9/11 felt more personally than the metropolitan region of New York City, for which the Twin Towers had functioned as a conspicuous compass setting, hub of work and recreation, and symbol of America’s economic might,” Martha Cooper writes in “Remembering 9/11”


(photo © Martha Cooper)


A memorial wall by members of Tats Cru. (photo © Martha Cooper)


The symbolism in personal depictions like these often said more than thousands of words ever could. (photo © Martha Cooper)

“There are no prescribed rituals for mourning thousands of people. We invented them as we went along,” Martha Cooper


(photo © Martha Cooper)


Art work in Union Square (photo © Martha Cooper)


Memorial Wall for WTC victims by Lower East Side artist, Chico Garcia; Avenue A (photo © Martha Cooper)


(photo © Martha Cooper)


(photo © Martha Cooper)

brooklyn-street-art-martha-cooper-9-11-tenth-anniversary-web-5 This wall in Queens, NY was painted by Lady Pink, Smith, Ernie and friends. (photo © Martha Cooper)

Martha Cooper is a featured panelist at today’s panel discussion in Brooklyn called “Return Remember: Ephemeral Memorials in the Legacy of September 11” At Power House Arena. 37 Main Street Dumbo. 6-8 PM.

Martha Cooper will be signing copies of a new slim volume of images “Remembering 9/11” following the panel discussion. For more information about this event please click on the link below:

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