Friday September 28. 2001
an on display collab : outward appearences

the gray wall

Earlier in the week, I saw Holger, one of the photo grad students, painting the walls outside the photo and metals studio a dull gray. I didn't think much of it, but when I passed it the next day, a small sign was posted next to it.

This space is reserved for students'
reaction to the events of September 11.

And so the wall began to fill - some of it touching, some of horribly blantant, some of it beautifully elegant and understated. I knew there had been a "panel discussion" in the auditorium on Tuesday with some professors from Main Campus. But I couldn't bring myself to go to it, to wallow in my feelings a little more. I just needed a break. And I guess this was the result and reaction to that discussion.

Last week, we talked in my Women's Studies class about how the tragedy would effect our art, and how we could react artistically to it. Some people felt useless and wondered how their art would even matter in a world like this, some wanted to embrace the hurt and evil and try to make it better in some small way, through their art. I was surprised that I hadn't even considered the question - how did all of this effect me as an artist? Maybe I was still too shell-shocked to think much. Words have often been inadequate in expressing how I feel about things, but this was the first time that my art couldn't even begin to address the sadness I feel. I just felt blank.

I began sketching, I began planning a series of arcitectural pieces to resemble the art deco buildings of New York City. It's only now that I realized that this was my reaction to everything that's happened. I couldn't imagine creating art that conveyed fear and despair, the only thing I could offer was hope, a tribute to the buildings and city I love, the city that is just starting to heal.

I imagine ghosts, straight monochrome structures. Something sad but still strong.

I did make a contribution to the wall, though not in images but in words. I printed out John's account of what he had seen on September 11th, and (with his permission, of course) pinned the email printout onto the wall. I left it anonymous. I thought it would be better that way.

One Year Ago:
"I went to the Tyler Library after my art history class, which has to be the most depressing place on the campus. It's stuffy, cold (in today's case), poorly lit by fluorescent lights, computers are in short supply, the staff is clueless and unhelpful, and the butt ugly chairs and tables are always crowded."

Two Years Ago:
"I can't figure out why they trust me so much. I'm not a very remarkable person (although they'll probably beg to differ)."