At first glance, including a sculpture of the World Trade Center (WTC) at Deichtorhallen feels out of place. Tom Sachs created his WTC not because the towers originated from the same era as NASA’s Apollo program, but because of their demise.
September 10th, 2001 was the high water mark of post war, “American” civilisation. Now if you are reading this from a liberal democratic paradise, European or otherwise, and thinking “Yeah. The USA is stuffed!” – you’ll need to dial the smugness down a touch, because I’ve got some real bad news. That “American” civilisation includes us all.
The social, environmental, and political declines we are currently witnessing – the stuff that followed the collapse of the World Trade Center and turned it into an eerie prophetic metaphor – is everywhere. The only difference is that the USA is experiencing it first.
So why have giant twins that tower over the audience at Space Program four?
We the civilians don’t watch on from a rubble of plywood. We see astronauts explore an asteroid from some sort of World Trade Center observation deck – frozen intact at the pinnacle of a liberal democratic haven. A fork in the road.
Tom is doing his sympathetic magic thing but on an epic scale. He’s encouraging us down another path, one where we collectively tip the scales toward rebirth. There is nothing stopping us from evolving into something like the Federation from Star Trek, where we heal ourselves, the planet and reach for the stars.
Photo: Aaron Hankins
Originally written for the Sachsian Syndicate.
Previously: TGIM 32 - The shot captured by that swing arm camera is a perfect recreation of Neil Armstrong’s televised first steps onto the Luna surface. It was one of those little ‘whoah’ moments that made me stop and think.
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