a video installation by the Advanced Video
Morton West High School, Berwyn, Illinois, December 2001.
A blue sky, marred by headline-filled clouds introduced the school
community to the installation. One monitor showed a mock airport
flight schedule, including the numbers and destinations of the flights
hijacked on September 11. The other monitor showed the hands of
the students, continuously turning the pages of their textbooks.
Surrounded by black silhouettes of fighter jets, the monitor in
this darkened room showed an abstracted montage of the events of
September 11. Another smashed TV sat on the floor, inside an outline
of the United States. A scrim-covered window showed an eerie projection
of a plane flying into space. The light of this projection shone
onto a wall-size torn-paper fetus surrounded by the words, When
does human life loose its innocence?
Visitors were forced to crouch lower and lower as they entered the
Denial Room through a narrow hallway. Suggesting simultaneous withdrawal
and obsession, the room features a bed, covered with an American
flag to which the students pinned fragments of headlines, facing
a TV set. The wall commemorates the many firemen who lost their
lives in the tragedy.
The Anger Room was filled with paper airplanes surrounded by a scene
of the city on fire intermixed with the students baby pictures.
After entering through a tombstone-lined hall, visitors entered
a room of tears falling from projected eyes.
Student artists wrote an acrostic poem using Acceptance as the key
word. The poem was performed in a hip-hop style by heads in two
monitors responding to each other.
Wanting to offer comfort before sending visitors away, the final
room provided a video combining scenes of cooking shows and scenes
of nature as well as real samples of such comfort foods as macaroni
and cheese, chicken soup, and chocolate pudding.