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Citizens

Curator: Neta Gal-Azmon 6.4.2017 - 5.8.2017

 The materials for this video were shot during the years following the 9/11 attacks. Nate Harrison, who lived close to the Twin Towers at the time, witnessed their collapse, as well as the dramatic and traumatic reincarnation of Ground Zero, first hand: from a landscape of elegant skyscrapers, to a disaster and rescue zone, to a scrap yard of molten metal cleared daily, to a gigantic hole gaped in the ground, and finally (until its rehabilitation) — to a dark-tourism attraction. As an artist and a citizen, Harrison felt a strong need to cry out, but the shock (or, perhaps, speechlessness) was too great. Art seemed futile and frivolous, he recalls. When he observed the tourists who arrived on site from all over the United States and the world, he noticed that they were photographing the empty space, the place where the Towers had been. "There was a mesmerizing beauty about it," he attests, and he decided to perform a modest, personal, and poetic artistic act: to document these mundane moments of tourists who perpetuate the empty sky, that which is no longer, with home video cameras. One may regard this spontaneous civil act, which has become a social phenomenon, as an expression of the aspiration for universal cohesion, the human yearning to unite around symbols of absence.


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