This notice was published in the catalogue of the french exhibition Collector, Œuvres du Centre national des arts plastiques, pp 132-133, Skira Flammarion, Paris, 2011
version française disponible ici
This exhibition takes place in le Tripostal in the city of Lille from october 5, 2011 to January the first, 2012.
To carry out the serie of photographs entitled Airborne, Dennis Adams simply clambered onto the roof of his building in New York very close to where the World Trade Center used to stand : ther, for three monthsn he lifted his eyes, and his camera, to the sky. As they blew past in the wind he would photograph newspapers and plastic bags dropped by people at the foot of nearby skyscrapers or that kept on being spat out by the collapsing Twin Towers.
If, by highlighting the importance of the organization and structure of public spaces, Adams has always maintained a close connection with the city in his work, this piece introduces an historical and commemorative note that goes beyond urbanism. Following the attack that struck his city on september 11, 2001, Adams opted to look up, up into the blue. Floating poetically in the azure sky of Manhattan, these photographic fragments thus sustain a critique of the breakneck speed of current events, of the "avidity of the politicians and the military who make definitive pronouncement on moments in history*" and who no longer take the time to step back. Conditioned by the madcap pace of rolling 24/7 news, they no longer appreciate the importance of the long view : it is beyond them, ant is people like them who lay the foundations of the future. Thus newspaper headlines trump reality with oversized typefaces that drowned out the voices of those who think different.
Adams chooses to capture remnants that hover, in suspension-hence the title of the serie, Airborne. These paltry objects are magnified to create a second space inside the city-ventilating it, refreshing our lungs with new, clean air. Dennis Adams invites all those who look at this images to try to turn the catastroph into an opportunity to reappropriate not only the city, but History too.
*Dennis Adams quoted by Michel Guerrin, À Madrid, les photographes face à l'histoire, Le Monde, June 15, 2004, p 30
Translated from french by David Radzinowicz.
Tags: collector, exhibition, tripostal, france, dennis adams, airborne, photograph, new york city, september 11 2001
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