Book Artist @ the Watkinson

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Printmaker and artist Werner Pfeiffer visited the Watkinson last night to speak to students in Erin Valentino’s First Year Seminar on post-9/11 art and Jonathan Elukin’s History of the Book course.

Werner constructed his work entitled “Out of the sky” as he spoke about where he was on 9/11 (crossing a bridge into Manhattan–he saw the second plane hit) and how the project took shape in his mind and through his hands over the next five years.

The towers, depicting names of the the victims and images of falling bodies, girders, and steps, are made up of 36 prints carved into 18 blocks of wood–blocks that Werner carved himself, a relief process that involves cutting away what one does not wish to see in the print.

The act of building the towers and taking them back down is intended as a kind of birth, life, and death of the memory of the tragedy.  You open it up to remember and reflect, and you close it down and put it away to move on.

In a small booklet Werner listed the victims from all four planes and the sites they struck.

Werner always designs hands-on productions, and he encouraged the students to handle the towers, and even help take them down.

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