Saturday, September 11, 2021

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today


Pretty much all week the top news story has been the events of 9/11 and the results of those terror attacks. Today there was even more.  After all, today is the 20th anniversary of the event.  A whole generation has grown up without having experienced it which seems kind of odd for all of us who did.  

In my case, I experienced it as a media event, first hearing about it as it was happening on the radio, and seeing all of it on television as the scenes ran without ending on all stations for the next week.  (in the piece above, sketched out that night, except for the radio event at the right end of the first row, all my imagery of the events at the World Trade Center came from television broadcasts)  I wrote about this in detail September of 2019- you can find it there if you want.

One thing I have thought about today is that I rarely do work about current events.  I wrote about this a while back, but today I decided to do a little research on past works. For example, one of my most well known works is my Fourth of July series, where I showed an event in my life for each day for a year, a total of 366 prints.  Surely one would expect that major political events would show an influence on what I selected, but not so often.  Over the course of a year, I found only four images that might qualify as national stories.  On July 7th, I did something related to the midwestern flood of 1993, where the rough winter and warm spring and summer had resulted in major rivers across the country cresting and the equivalent of a 6th Great Lake forming in the midwest.  This was both a local story (the county I lived in at the time was declared a disaster area), and a national story, as many states were affected all over the country.  On November 3rd, I struggled to get results of the off year elections in New Jersey, but the Illinois news never wanted to talk about it.  My piece on April 25th about the local showing of a piece of the AIDS quilt was kind of a national story, as the then incurable disease was feared everywhere in the country, including where I was.  The one thing that was mostly political was my April 27th piece about the funeral for former president Nixon.  (these can all be found on the linked blog above if you want to see them)

Another things I thought of today was my piece A New Year for America, which can be seen below.

Some 52 stories, all found in news sources (mostly newspapers, but occasionally the internet if I had no luck elsewhere), yet most of the stories turned out to be more about the local nature of the event. It was based on current events (all within a month before or after the new year), but most are related to the individual state, and not the national story that formed around it.  So the fact that I rarely do contemporary events is maybe a trend.


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