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New Exhibit at UNH Provides Intimate Reflections of Sept. 11

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau
603-862-0574

February 26, 2003


DURHAM, N.H. -- Exactly 18 months after the 9/11 bombings in New York and Washington, the University of New Hampshire Museum will host the first New England showing of "...even the birds were on fire...Artists Respond to the Events of 9/11/01."

"...even the birds were on fire...," which opens March 11, is an interactive exhibit featuring text, images, ephemera and books produced by the Booklyn Artists Alliance. The title comes from the observation of a young child being evacuated from a school near the World Trade Center. The exhibit is curated by Booklyn's Marshall Weber and hosted by the University Museum.

A woman kayaks on the East River, just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, in spring 2001. The idyllic view with the World Trade Center in the background is a reminder of what life was like before Sept. 11, 2001. The photo, from the small book Haste with the Hastening Current by Peter Spagnuolo, will be included in the exhibit and will illustrate a Walt Whitman poem.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Spangnuolo and the Booklyn Artists Alliance.)


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The exhibit's centerpiece is a 45-by-8-foot scroll, a multimedia collage of text, images, and other objects collected from the people and streets of New York during the hours, days and weeks following Sept. 11, 2001. It contrasts newspaper articles with elementary school letters, personal correspondence and the ubiquitous "missing" posters found throughout New York City. The exhibit also features examples of limited edition books and costumes from performances, which reflect artistic and creative responses to these tragic events.

Exhibition visitors will be invited to leave memorial objects or write their own commentaries about Sept. 11, ongoing hostilities, and the exhibit itself onto a paper wall installed near the scroll.

"The exhibit is a physical evocation of the emotional atmosphere of the Sept. 11 bombing of the World Trade Center and its aftermath," Weber said. Beyond his efforts to chronicle the after effects in performance and visual art, Weber reflects that New York City, "in a desperate and generous moment, had opened itself like a book, every surface was a legitimate blank page available for every citizen's testimony."

The opening, set for 4 p.m. March 11, will feature a 45-minute presentation by Weber. A reception will follow in the Milne Special Collections.

The University Museum is located within the Milne Special Collections and Archives Department on the first floor of Dimond Library. The University Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays (with the exception of March 15 and 22). The exhibit will run through May 11.

News Editors: For more information about the exhibit, call Museum Curator Dale Valena at 603-862-1081. Fore more information about Booklyn's exhibit-related poetry readings, performances, lectures or workshops, please contact Marshall Weber at 718-383-9621 or mweber@booklyn.org, or visit the Booklyn Web site at www.booklyn.org.


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