Posts Tagged ‘Building #5 and Woolworth

03
Nov
11

Exhibition: ‘Joel Meyerowitz – Aftermath’ at the Miami Art Museum

Exhibition dates: 19th August – 6th November 2011

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“And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather a force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there …”

Frederick Nietzsche, The Will to Power.

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Sadness. And light. Hope. Amidst the inferno. Study the masterpiece Finding More Fireman (below) in the enlarged version and you cannot fail to be moved. It is all there: monumental, intimate, hellish, redemptive – a modern, “disastrous” form of the The Night Watch.

Many thanxk to the Miami Art Museum for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Joel Meyerowitz 
Searchers in Rubble
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

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Joel Meyerowitz
Flower Offering
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

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Joel Meyerowitz
Pit Looking North
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

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Joel Meyerowitz
Smoke and Spray
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

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Joel Meyerowitz
Moving the Monument
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

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Joel Meyerowitz
Finding More Fireman
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

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Joel Meyerowitz
Searchers
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

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Joel Meyerowitz
Welders in South Tower
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

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“In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Miami Art Museum presents Focus Gallery: Joel Meyerowitz – Aftermath, an exhibition of photographs taken by the only photographer granted right of entry into Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. For nine months during the day and night, Meyerowitz photographed “the pile,” as the World Trade Center came to be known, and the over 800 people a day that were working in it. The exhibition consists of 24, recently-donated photographs, presented in the Focus Gallery section of the Museum’s Permanent Collection installation. Admission to Miami Art Museum will be free to all emergency personnel, including police and firefighters, and their guests throughout the exhibition’s run, August 19 – November 6, 2011. A special preview for emergency personnel will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2011, 4-7pm. Author and photography critic Vicki Goldberg will give a lecture entitled “What Remains” on Thursday, September 8, 2011, beginning at 6:30pm.

After September 11, 2001, the Ground Zero site in New York City was classified as a crime scene and only those directly involved in the recovery efforts were allowed inside. The press was prohibited from the site. Influenced by Walker Evans’s and Dorothea Lange’s work for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression, Meyerowitz, long recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography, was convinced that if a photographic record of the unprecedented recovery efforts was not made, “there would be no history.” With the help of sympathetic officials, he managed to become the only photographer granted right of entry into Ground Zero.

“I was making photographs for everyone who didn’t have access to the site,” says Meyerowitz, “I wanted to communicate what it felt like to be in there as well as what it looked like: to show the pile’s incredible intricacy and visceral power. I could provide a window for everyone else who wanted to be there, too, to help, or to grieve, or simply to try to understand what had happened to our city.”

Armed with a large-format wooden camera, Meyerowitz spent nine months photographing the site. In the first few weeks, he was chased off the site repeatedly, but over time, with the help of officials on and off site, the use of forged workers’ passes, and by assuming the “uniform” of hard hat, goggles, respirator, gloves, boots and duct taped pants, Meyerowitz became “woven into the fabric of the site.”

About the experience, Meyerowitz has written, “The nine months I worked at Ground Zero were among the most rewarding of my life. I came in as an outsider, a witness bent on keeping the record, but over time I began to feel a part of the very project I’d been intent on recording… the intense camaraderie I experienced at Ground Zero inspired me, changing both my sense of myself and my sense of responsibility to the world around me. September 11th was a tragedy of almost unfathomable proportions. But living for nine months in the midst of those individuals who faced that tragedy head-on, day after day, and did what they could to set things right, was an immense privilege.”

The photographs in MAM’s collection are from a unique set of contact prints (photographs printed on a 1:1 scale from the negatives) issued by the artist in 2006. As a group, they span the entire nine month period that Meyerowitz was on site, presenting a poignant, condensed view of the clean up effort, including portraits of the workers involved. The set is introduced by a single image of the World Trade Center towers taken by the artist in the 1980s from his apartment window.

The entire set of more than 8,000 photographs taken by Meyerowitz form an archive at the Museum of the City of New York. The Aftermath series was the focus of a 2006 book, Aftermath: World Trade Center Archives published by Phaidon (reissued this year in a special 10th anniversary edition) and an exhibition organized by the US Department of State that traveled worldwide from 2002 to 2005.”

Press release from the Miami Art Museum website

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Joel Meyerowitz
Explosion Squad Detective
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

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Joel Meyerowitz
Steps Down to Plaza
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Jeffrey Hugh Newman

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Joel Meyerowitz
Fireman at Last Column
2002
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Charles S. and Elynne B. Zucker

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Joel Meyerowitz
Building #5 and Woolworth
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Simon and Bonnie Levin

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Joel Meyerowitz
Welder and Rubble
2001
Vintage contact print
Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Steven E. and Phyllis Gross

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Miami Art Museum
101 W Flagler St., Miami, FL 33130

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday,10am – 5pm
Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm

Miami Art Museum website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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