September 11, 2006

Your Turn: Grasping The Ephemeral


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And it was at this time, in the days immediately after September 11, that we discovered ephemeral art. Until then we had no idea what street art was. But the attacks of September 11th had made us hyper-aware of our surroundings. We began exploring Lower Manhattan like never before. We were now seeing the city in a completely different way, with new eyes and a new heart. Everything, and everyone, around us was now suddenly important. And it was in these days immediately after September 11th that we began noticing street art everywhere we went. On every block, and on every corner. Stickers, posters, stencils, tags, graffiti. I took pictures of everything I saw in the days after September 11th. People were putting up lots of different things. Some of it extremely political. Some of extremely emotional and sad.

But a lot of it made you smile.

— Marc/Wooster Collective.  September 11, 2006

September 11th is a holiday in Catalunya akin to a regional/political (desire for-) independence day.  Besides the street fairs, the Catalan flag suddenly appears in apartment windows, and occasionally drapes whole apartment buildings.  In a strange coincidence, I was walking in the town of Girona with my nephew who started taking photo after photo of the street art.  Although he was only vaguely familiar with it, I told him he really should take a look at the Wooster Collective.

Then yesterday afternoon, a BAGreader posted a link to this image.  Marc, one of two originators of woostercollective, featured this photo as part of his recollection of 9/11.  Along with the image, he describes how the attacks served as the genesis for this unique and invaluable site.  Now five years old, woostercollective has been as intrinsic to the documentation of street art as it has been to the on-line appreciation and embrace of lower Manhattan.

I invite you to read this whole entry, as well as check out the WTC Outline Project, which inspired the image (as long as their servers are holding up).  Morever, I invite you reaction to the image as a literal memorial, an expression of catharsis as well as an act of memory.

(hat tip: DP)

(image: WTC Outline Project via woostercollective)

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