Photo essay september 11

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    Susanna, Nancy and I met at Nancy Davidson’s opening on the 28th, where we would have all met on September 11. Everyone there was very happy to see each other. As for many of us, it was the first time I was out in the city after dark, other than standing at Lispenard and Church. We had a nice dinner, although all we talked about was it, from every angle of conversation possible. At about 10 PM as we crossed Ninth Avenue at 23rd we heard sirens. A motorcade approached as if for a visiting dignitary: an unmarked black police car with red light flashing on its roof stopped downtown traffic in mid-intersection. Three motorcycle cops, then at least six more passed preceding an ambulance, which was followed by a state police car and a NYPD police car. When they find the body of a policeman or fireman, they give the ambulance trip to the morgue an honor guard of three motorcycles so this seemed even bigger and yet it wasn’t even anything that would ever be on the news. Thinking about that day in Chelsea, I’m reminded of  “Quack, Quack! Stick to My Back!” an Italian Folktale retold by Italo Calvino : a good witch gives a young man a magic goose and a formula to win the hand of a princess who has decided, “I won’t laugh even if my life depended on it.” One fool after another is glued to the goose and to the person before him until a chain of fools causes the princess to roar with laughter. I’m not saying my friends and I were fools exactly though we do look almost incongruously happy: we were happy to get out, to do something, to see each other again, and we were in a state of elation fueled by shock. But as the day progressed we formed a growing chain, as a group of 3 became 5, a group of 5 became 7, and then 8, and we all stayed together as we went along. But at the same time, already that day there was a sense of aesthetic rupture: the galleries were filled with art that had been made before it , much of it relying on  trite tropes and recipes that now felt intolerable.

    I got a nice new piano. I am giving my old one away. The piano we used a few weeks ago at 2nd Story Recording Studio has the long lost old Sorcerer piano in it, the one I recorded Dead Boy and certain songs from the last album on a few years ago!!! I was so happy to see it again. It seemed different. I tried to pretend that I recognized it. But it reminded me of the cat that changed color when it got a new owner. Norah Jones recorded her first record on that piano too. Anyway it sounded great.

    James Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time magazine since 1984. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Carolinum in Prague, among others. He has received numerous honors such as the Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He has published numerous collections, including Inferno (1999) and A World at War: Photographs, 1981–1988 . He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts.

    Photo essay september 11

    photo essay september 11

    James Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time magazine since 1984. He has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Palazzo Esposizione in Rome, El Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Carolinum in Prague, among others. He has received numerous honors such as the Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the Leica Award (twice), the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography. He has published numerous collections, including Inferno (1999) and A World at War: Photographs, 1981–1988 . He is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and has an honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts.

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