Imagery of September 11 is a particular kind of atrocity exhibition. The live unfolding of 3,000 deaths represented a new level of televised horror. And at the core of September 11 is an architectural event like none other. The images of that day, its aftermath, and the site's rebuilding keep the process of tragedy, remembrance, and healing in our minds, all with buildings as some of the main protagonists.
"Concrete Abstract" is a series of composite photographs by Israeli photographer Shai Kremer. He overlays multiple photographs that he took of the Ground Zero site from 2011-2013. Each final work contains pieces of hundreds of images. The results are Lebbeus Woods-like explosions that are simultaneously abstract and representative.
The collages contain fragments of construction and destruction, each with its own unique composition. Some reference the story of the site, others the physical aspects. "I believe strongly in the fact that beauty is a powerful conveyor of difficult ideas," Kremer said. His process is similar to a painter, with layering of parts using composition, colors, axes of symmetries, and asymmetries that carry significance and come from different times.
"I moved to New York right after the 9/11 events," he said. "Coming from a country used to dealing with terrorist attacks, I was interested in seeing how New York reacted." He sites Piranesi as one of his biggest influences.
Images from the series will be on display at Julie Saul Gallery through October 25, as well as at the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Bronx Museum of the Arts.