Carla Shapiro “9/11 Prayer Flags”

Carla Shapiro

 N.Y. Artist Carla Shapiro will display her photography as well as a new video. She hand copied from the New York Times, 2500 obituaries of people who died in the World Trade Center . Each obituary was written in black ink on white vellum, a stiff translucent paper that she hung outside. Over time the written words washed away and the papers became blank. The empty papers represented “prayer flags” which originated in Tibet , and are visual memories of prayer. Over the course of one year, I photographed these obituaries–in early light, in darkness, in the rain, as the leaves fell, and as it snowed. They were photographed when it was hot and when it was cold, as they moved and as they froze. They were photographed with the rebirth of spring.”For twelve months the obituary-prayer flags hung in lines across the stream in my backyard in Chichester , New York . In each season they moved in the breeze, generating song through their movement, and creating patterns of light and dark. Each day I saw a new story, as every sheet of vellum told a different story, as every sheet of vellum washed away and became free of its story and became the pure whiteness I waited for–my way of honoring those who had died on 9/11.”




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