CUNY Presents a Moving Tribute
to Ground Zero
to Ground Zero: Images of Pain and Hope was
on exhibit at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The exhibition
is a recollection of thoughts, emotions, and reactions of survivors of September
11. It was a moving reminder of the worst terrorist incident in America’s
history and the perpetual process of healing.Bill
Perlmutter, the photographer and creator of this moving depiction of human
reaction, captured in photographs, a series of moments which underscored visitors’ responses
to Ground Zero.
The photographs portray a range of images of visitors to ground zero as snapshots
of moments of human reaction. A photograph of visitors standing in the rain,
with the solitary portrait of their backs beneath the shelter of oversized umbrellas,
stands as a testament to the profound sense of absence, gloom and desolation
they experienced. Permutter, a graduate of CUNY, and a renown photographer whose
collections have appeared at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, and the Museum
of The City of New York, felt moved by his own visit to Ground Zero, to translate
these emotions through the lens of his camera.
“The number of people coming
to express themselves to look at ground zero overwhelmed me.
I felt their need to look at Ground Zero, to come back to recover.
I attempted to capture the feelings and emotions of visitors.
This process helped me to come to terms with my own pain.”
The opening of the exhibition elicited
a range of emotions from the viewers. One CUNY grad commented “ it’s
a very eloquent and impressive expression of the feelings of
New Yorkers post 9/11. You see the poignancy represented without
Professor Sandie Cooper, a historian,
and former chair of the faculty center, who met Permutter as
a college student at CUNY, was impressed by how the pictures
powerfully communicated the sensibility and sensitivity of its
demonstrated a warmth and humanity.
They capture what people were feeling and doing.”
Others visitors were surprised by the
absence of trauma and the authentic expression of human emotions
presented. Nilda Soto Ruiz, a trustee of the board of CUNY and
an old personal friend of the artist was instrumental in organizing
the photographic exhibit.. “We are very proud to commemorate, through Perlmutter’s
eyes, such a significant and sad event.”
Dr. Matthew Goldstein, the Chancellor
of CUNY echoed these sentiments: “Words
fail us at such times; the eyes of the photographer can document the nuances
of feelings and behavior. Bill’s patient eye and expansive vision capture
those who made this pilgrimage to Ground Zero.”
The photography exhibit, which includes a video feed of the images movingly portrayed
in sequence, will be on display at CUNY and open to the public.#