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Imperial War Museum Opens Memory Remains 9/11 Artifacts at Hangar 17 by Francesc Torres

IWM London presents Memory Remains: 9/11 Artifacts at Hangar 17 by Francesc Torres . Open 26 August 2011 – 26 February 2012

Following the devastation of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, the recovery effort began and the 16-acre site underwent the careful and lengthy process of being cleared. A small group of architects and curators slowly began to fill the empty shell of Hangar 17 at John F Kennedy International Airport with debris and material cleared from the site, transforming it into a storehouse of memories.

Francesc Torres, Hangar 17

Spanish-American artist Francesc Torres, commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, was granted access to explore inside the hangar and produced an extensive series of photographs reflecting on the emotional power of what remained after 9/11. With a lifelong interest in questions of human memory and meaning, Torres’ work centres on the concept that it is through the remains of history that memory remains.

Francesc Torres, says: “Having watched the graphic destruction from my apartment, only two blocks from the Twin Towers, when I entered Hangar 17 at JFK International Airport for the first time in 2006, I was immediately hit by the deep sense that the objects I was confronted with, from large shards of rusted and burnt steel to bikes left forever by their owners, were the symbolic substitutes of the victims. Their overwhelming presence stood for all the people that lost their lives that late summer day a decade ago”.

9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald says: “Francesc Torres spent five weeks at Hangar 17 in 2009, daily confronting the legacy of terror and the ghosts of ground zero. In photographs of exceptional sensitivity and insight, he has captured both the monumental scale of loss in the wake of the terror attacks and the excruciating intimacy of personal effects that remain as testaments to those unwittingly caught in the maelstrom of destruction. Through Torres’ eyes, we can see the potential for resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit over adversity.”
Memory Remains is presented in cooperation with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the International Center of Photography, in association with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Original funding for Memory Remains was provided by Paul J. Napoli & Marc J. Bern-Napoli Bern LLP, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institut Ramon Llull, and the Government of Spain – Ministry of Culture.

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