Bradenton, FL. – “And Then There Was Quiet: New York After 9/11” will be exhibited this September at the Manatee Library System’s Downtown Central Library, located at 1301 Barcarrota Boulevard West, Bradenton Florida. Part documentary photography and part art installation, the exhibit, created by Sarasota artist Dave Gordon, provides a unique look at the 9/11 tragedy by focusing on intimate moments. It offers a side of this important American event not chronicled elsewhere. This installation launches a yearlong cooperative effort between Gordon and Sister Cities Association of Sarasota that will send the exhibit to as many as nine international cities in 2017.
On September 11, 2001, two American Airlines planes struck the World Trade Center, killing over 2,700 people. America entered a period of near panicked shock. The news media began many days of 24 hour coverage of what quickly came to be known as 9/11. After watching what he calls “the hysteria on TV” from his living room in Somerville Massachusetts, artist Dave Gordon felt there was something profoundly missing from what he was seeing. He quickly made arrangements to go to NY, and within a few days, he was in Manhattan with his camera documenting the part of the story that was not getting covered. “Everybody who was there tried to photograph the big things. I tried to focus on small things and the intimate moments,” said Gordon. “I discovered a quiet and somber New York that was profoundly supportive and that the rest of the country was largely unaware of.” The photos he took on that trip and on a return trip a week later became the core of his show “And Then There Was Quiet: New York After 9/11.”
The exhibit, which is always free to the public, has been shown nationally at libraries, galleries, and government buildings, including the Rotunda of the US Senate Building in Washington DC, the Massachusetts State House, and Tribes Gallery in lower Manhattan. It features more than 20 large mounted photographs as well as many smaller photographs and artifacts.
For each exhibition venue, Gordon enhances the viewer’s experience by creating intimate site-specific installations. These poignant displays echo the themes of his photography. They include “The Wall of Missing Posters” containing a large number of photographs of the posters that the families of the missing put up in the aftermath of the attack. He also creates a reproduction of the type of makeshift shrine that appeared throughout Manhattan after 9/11. A major highlight of the show is a beautifully presented terrarium of the dust which resulted from the collapse of the Twin Towers and covered Lower Manhattan like snow. Within each exhibit, Gordon strives to create intimate environments that stimulate conversation, contemplation and reflection, present the events of 9/11 on a human scale, and allow viewers to make constructive, emotional connections.
“And Then There Was Quiet: New York After 9/11” runs from August 30 through September 30, 2016, during regularly scheduled library hours. The Library will present a free opening reception and artist talk on September 7, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. During the talk, Gordon will discuss his experiences in Manhattan after the World Trade Center collapsed and his thoughts about the changing perceptions of the show and 9/11 over the past 15 years.
On September 10, from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, the public is invited to a remembrance of 9/11 at the Downtown Central Library. The event will offer the public the opportunity to share memories of 9/11 and to participate in the creation of a new artwork that may become part of the international exhibits in 2017. (Reservations not required)
For the past several months, Gordon and Sister Cities Association of Sarasota have been working with the organization’s counterparts in Mexico, France, China, Switzerland, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Russia, Canada to locate venue space and local curators to organize simultaneous exhibitions in up to nine cities internationally next year. The project has an estimated $20,000 budget that the artist hopes to cover through a crowdfunding campaign and grants. Those wishing to support this project can do so by going to And Then There Was Quiet: New York After 9/11 on Generosity.com starting August 22nd.
For more information regarding the exhibit, its programs, directions, and library hours, contract the Central District Library at(941) 748-5555 or visit mymanatee.org/library. For more information regarding the international travelling exhibit and/or the crowd-funding project, please contact the artist directly: Dave Gordon, (978) 437 3080.
photos by Dave Gordon