Saturday, May 17, 2014

THE SKY WAS A BRIGHT CLEAR BLUE, AND THEN THE PLANES CAME

I doubt any American can forget the day, this fall day of clear skies, crisp clear beautiful day, on September the 11th that the planes came crashing into the twin towers in New York City.  I remember well I was teaching a 5th grade class and the classroom teacher had just come to pick them up, when the intercom went off directing teachers to immediately read their computer message from the office.  At first all the news was piece meal and often incorrect, but it changed America for ever.  And for weeks and months the sky were circumspect, nothing was to be trusted for who might have taken it over and attack another government building, school, or hospital.  Fighter jets flew constantly leaving contrails high in the sky daily.  
I met a friend of mines friend in Washington D.C. and he recounted his personal story with that day.  He was an Episcopal priest at the little church near ground zero.  When the buildings fell and the ashes and dust bowled down the street, he dove under a car to escape.  He later saw a Reuters new photographer had taken his picture and it was on the cover of a magazine.  He normally would be black, but covered with ash he was a ghostly while.  
The artist Spencer Finch often though later about the color of the sky that day, the clear kind of day that pilots call "severe clear." When he was chosen two years ago to do art work for the memorial he knew the sky would be his subject. 
Spencer Finch saw" the problem was how to find a way to get at something so evanescent and powerfully evocative. “It had to be believable,” he said, explaining what believable meant to him in such a case: “It had to be about that human quality of remembering, how it’s so fuzzy in some ways, and in other ways it’s so completely clear.”



'" Mr. Finch’s solution will be put to the test in a kind of consecrated and highly contested space that would put any work of art under intense pressure to play a meaningful role. “Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” is a monumental but at the same time delicate work made up of 2,983 "Wikapedia source
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