Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Art: In Memoriam

I was reading Winnicott this morning on art. "Much of the pleasure of the experience of art in one form or another arises from the nearness to unintegration to which the artist's creation may safely lead the audience or viewer. . . . The appreciation of art thus keeps people on a knife-edge, because achievement is so close to painful failure."

Carrying the audience right to the edge of disintegration and bringing them back again — that to me expresses art's significance spiritually, intellectually, emotionally. It explains why I could mourn for Diane through and with Mozart's Requiem, because that music carries the listener right to the edge of destruction but, in its sublime order and meaning, also consoles for the terror and loss it expresses. (I'm saying this very badly, and I said it badly the other day, discussing the Rolling Requiem.)

So here are some ways to consider 9/11. Some artists' eyes to take us right to the edge and bring us back again.

An exhibit at the NY Historical Society The online version shows only a few of the works on exhibit.

"The Day Our World Changed: Children's Art of 9/11" Very powerful, direct, some extraordinary skill and insight.

Photography of Ground Zero by Joel Meyerowitz

The New Yorker. An archive of articles, poems, images on 9/11. Also, read this article by Art Spiegelmen on how he created the stunning black-on-black New Yorker cover of the twin towers.

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