Phillip McCrum

Open ev+a


Limerick, Ireland — 2002

“My work usually deals with the relationship of the viewer to the viewing of art, in a sense the culpability of viewing. On September 11 we all became viewers of a spectacle that purported to change the world – repetitious enactments of the collapse of the towers from every conceivable angle, multiple analyses from experts and amateurs in an attempt to understand what had just happened. Strangely, or all too obviously, people returned again and again to the metaphor of the disaster film – the catastrophic destruction of the symbols of capitalistic power ever threatened by… well, somebody. Meanwhile, almost too horrible to be reported or witness, individual people were making a profound and horrible decision. The image of a young man flying through the air, falling towards his destruction, resigned, arms back and headlong, defined this tragedy for me a brought me back from a brink of spectacle to this truly horrible moment. The bodies, marks against the blue sky or the monochromatic background of the towers, looked to me like the calligraphic ciphers of resignation, horror and despair. And in my way I hope this work acts as catharsis and memorial to those many who died undeservedly at the hands of others.”

— Phillip McCrum