Moment of Impact 9/11 - Glass installation by Lynn Rivers
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Visual Themes

1. The Buildings and their Structure
2. Firemen and...
3. Words

The Buildings and their Structure

1. Abstract Qualities of the Glass
The Twin Towers are represented by a clear reeded glass with a diachroic coating. This glass was selected at the start of the study pieces and remained a vital component throughout the production of Moment of Impact 9/11. It was used for the distinctive shape of the top of the buildings above the apples in panels 4 and 6, from the outset. The use of this glass in the other panels as fragments of the exploding building is new. The glass appears to shimmer, and refers to how the Twin Towers once appeared in the cityscape. The dual purpose of this glass was to represent the building and the glass contained therein.

Further the diachroic surface can also be viewed as the pollution that the attacks generated. This aspect was further developed in the nine panels by the use of two other glasses with diachroic surfaces, where the effect is made visually stronger by the combination with an opaque and a mirror glass.

In Panel 5 the distinctive shape of towers, as used in 4 and 6 has been repeated from a number of different perspectives from the ground looking upwards. This is presented in a variety of glass types. The panel also explores the visual tension between implosion and explosion.

2. Panels 4 & 9
In Panel 4 an arrow-like detail from the top of the Twin Towers’ structure is visualised as if it were falling, virtually straight down. This architectural feature, which also occurred at the base of the buildings’ structure, became prominent in the silhouetted ruins of the Twin Towers, and is present in Panel 9.

I was made aware of this part of the building by the photographs of tightrope walker Phillippe Petit’s journey between the Twin Towers in 1974. Details of Petit’s experiences were featured in the Observer on the 19th January 2003. The main photograph from the article was pinned to my studio wall throughout the making of Moment of Impact 9/11 and undoubtedly influenced the arrow idea. The photograph appealed nostalgically to a time that seemed very distant from the horror of 9/11, and from my personal childhood explorations of heights. For me it was about suspended time as much as a suspended person. However, the intention of Petit was to live whereas those who experienced the similar space between the towers didn’t have that option.

Panel 4 Panel 9

3. Panel 9

A huge black cloud that occurred as the Towers collapsed, a sign of a cool fire, is a dominant feature in Panel 9. When viewing the panels, and depending on the light source and its position, the glass can appear virtually as black on blue glass but when strongly lit the cloud turns to red. Watching the planes hit the Twin Towers was horrific enough, the subsequent and incomprehensible collapse was unexplainable except in the terms of Hollywood disaster movies.
Panel 9

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Visual Themes: The Buildings and their Structure | Firemen and... | Words
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