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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Daguerreotype of 9/11

I'd never seen this before—hat tip to Paul Raphaelson on the LF board for the link.

Posted by: OREN GRAD

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This crosses the line from techno-fetishism into something much worse: taking the trouble to make, and expect to have appreciated, an image of 3,000 people being burned to death just because it uses an "interesting" process is obscene. Shame.

9:40 AM  
Blogger David A. Goldfarb said...

I've posted this on another forum, but I'll repeat it here, because this image seems to draw the same kinds of responses in various forums--

This is one of my favorite images of 9/11, if "favorite" could be an appropriate word. As a New Yorker of fifteen years living in Manhattan for twelve of those years, I like that it shows the crisis from the perspective of many Manhattanites.

It was a beautiful clear day. Most of us who don't work or live downtown were far away from the tragedy, and yet could not be unaffected by it. The smell travelled up to Harlem. Lines formed at ATMs and in grocery stores. We all were on the phone calling to let people know we were okay, and to see if our friends were okay, and to see if our friends' friends whom our friends couldn't reach by phone were okay. And here this artist who makes daguerreotypes made a daguerreotype of the thing he saw, just as he might do on any other day, when he saw any other thing. It doesn't sensationalize--the events were sensational enough on their own, and it doesn't isolate the World Trade Center from the rest of the city. It shows what happened as we saw it.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and tasteful depictment of a tragedy. No blood or guts, no death or dying, just the image that is imprinted in our minds anyway. Two buildings, damaged and burning in the distance. A fitting reminder of the good and bad things about that day.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Howard Cornelsen said...

Marvelous photo. Almost surreal to see the burning Twin Towers in the background of an image whose technique makes it look as if it 'should' be archaic.

This was the day that the USA joined the rest of the world and realized that we were not immune to the terrorism it had long been facing. The juxtaposition here of the nearby older structures and the far-away burning towers highlights the banality of any moment when seen from enough distance.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Curto said...

It's history. It's an event in history. During the daguerrean era, these images were used to describe and define people, places and events that were important. The daguerreotype has still not been surpassed in terms of quality by any more "modern" photo processes.

To have a photograph of an important historical event using the daguerreotype process is extraordinary.

-Jeff Curto

10:16 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Danforth said...

The way Jerry explained it to me, he had one Daguerreotype plate left in his box on 9/11. The plate was scratched and he wasn't planning to use it for anything but when the tragedy happened, he went to a rooftop and made the image.

Jerry works in Daguerreotypes so he didn't make the image of the towers because "it uses an interesting process", he made it because it's what he does anyway.

Thousands of pictures were taken that day: some graphic, some artistic, some journalistic. I don't see how anyone could consider this image obscene!

Well done, Jerry!
-Jonathan
Contemporary Daguerreotypist

12:47 PM  

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