August 1, 2011
The Brooklyn Museum will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, with an installation, Ten Years Later: Ground Zero Remembered, the focal point of which will be a work in the late Michael Richards’s Tuskegee Airmen Series (1997) and Christoph Draeger’s photographic jigsaw puzzle WTC, September 17 (2003). The works will be displayed alongside two 2002 comment books filled with text and images by visitors who viewed images documenting 9/11 displayed on the first anniversary of the tragic events.
Visitors will also be encouraged to view several paintings and sculptures in the adjacent American Identities gallery, among them the painting Trinity Church and Wall Street by Bertram Hartman, one of the sixty versions of The Peaceable Kingdom by Quaker preacher Edward Hicks, and the sculpture Décontractée by Louise Bourgeois. In recognition of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, visitors will be invited to submit personal commentary in electronic kiosks on the select works in the American Identities gallery which opened to the public for the first time on September 12, 2001.
Michael Richards (1963-2001) was working as an artist-in-residence with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council at its studios in the World Trade Center and died in the attack on Tower One. His sculpture is a tribute to the Tuskegee airmen of World War II, the black aviators named for their base in Tuskegee, Alabama, who became the first African American military pilots in the history of the United States. Richards made a fiberglass mold of his own body for the sculpture, and then pierced the work with nails, referencing both Christian iconography and African objects known as nkisi knondi.
To explore the way in which the world is understood through the media, New York-based Cristoph Draeger (born 1965) has appropriated mass media images of destruction and violence and transferred them digitally onto giant jigsaw puzzles. These works deal with themes of memory and comment on the dissemination of media images in the wake of 9/11.
The two comment books, designed by Rosa Guimaraes, were placed in the Museum Lobby in 2002 for the exhibition Images of Ground Zero. Now a part of the Museum Archives they were created by the Tribute to Light Initiative of Creative Time Inc. and the Municipal Art Society with support from the Battery Park Authority.