In an Instant
New York, 9-11, Before and After
On View: September 11 – November 13, 2014
Opening Reception: September 11, 2014, 5-7pm
Memory Time Lapse: Ground Zero, NYC, 2002-03 | Oil on linen | 60 x 72″
Joellyn Duesberry’s painting Memory Time Lapse, Ground Zero is a masterpiece that aspires to keep company with Goya’s Disasters of War, Leon Golub’s chilling paintings of state-sponsored torture and Picasso’s Guernica as an extraordinary leap beyond that which the imagination cannot contain. I can see the technical virtuosity, the assured brush-strokes, the compositional coherence of the work, but it is the work’s capacity to penetrate the agility of my imagination, to palpably render – without a cry or a groan – the desolation and horror that is far beyond the harsh contingencies of the natural world that makes the painting great.
How does art intervene in the erasures of history and humanity that occurred on 9/11? What cannot or should not be represented? What is the role of art in testimony, memorial, mourning and healing? Duesberry’s paintings make us feel the primitive shock of a terrifying instant – shredding our cocoons, dispelling our virtual fog and blocking our desperate need to return to our patterns of normalcy. This work has a contemporary urgency. It seeks not only to testify and commemorate but also to assist us in recovering our own deep capacity for empathic responsiveness. Calamity has a way of restoring us to kindness. Prior to the events of 9/11, I never felt any affection for the twin towers of the World Trade Center, but in their destruction they seem – like everything that lives and wishes only to go on living – fragile and precious.
-Simon Zalkind, Curator
The Art Gallery
Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
13080 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045
Map and directions at: www.coloradobioethics.org
Monday – Friday 9-5pm