The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Post 9/11

By: Christine Hunter  

The architecture of the World Trade Center Towers and the efficiently violent art of destruction which demolished both the art of living of the victims and perpetrators alike, created a visual hole, a space, a void consisting only of ashen rubble, thus forever scarring and altering the urban landscape scene. How had art, architecture, and urbanization combined to establish an iconic symbolism which became a prime target for terrorists on 9/11? The recurring vision of the planes hitting and destroying the architecture of the towers has been played repetitively and redundantly so often that the visualization of those terrifying actions has actually morphed into an artistic vignette of sorts, shifting from the realm of news film to classic artistic iconic status. Perhaps, the passage of time has imbued the film clip with a terrible historical beauty which still has the power to mesmerize its audience, thus deconstructing the images as news film and reconstructing them as an art film. So what are we as postmodernists to make of these reconstructions of the deconstructed? Are we just collecting architectural salvage and reconstructing it as art for art’s sake or for posterity or simply to assuage our own pain and guilt for our culpability in creating and contributing to an imperialist atmosphere of rampant capitalism?

Postmodernism, Art, Architecture, Urbanization
The Arts in Social, Political, and Community Life
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Christine Hunter

Full-Time Visiting Instructor, English, Purude University Northwest