Richard Serra on the Effects of Witnessing the 9/11 Attacks in NYC
If only Serra were the median American - not just in terms of talent and creativity, but in terms too of the ability to respond with openness and generosity in the face of horrifying adversity. Instead we get fear and anxiety and in politics, of course, those who are completely willing to exploit that fear and anxiety.
Mr. Serra, who lives in TriBeCa, was there on Sept. 11, 2001, and in its aftermath. He was horrified by his own voyeurism, he said, as he and others watched people in the burning towers throw themselves to their deaths, hand in hand.
“People were silent, other people jumped, and people on the ground moaned in unison, like a Greek chorus,” he said.
It had a great impact on him, he said, talking of the random quickness of life, a new desire to be considerate. “You need to keep your wits about you, and you have to acknowledge everyone around you,” he said. “Before, maybe I didn’t. But we’re all here and here together. It made me a stronger person. But also I think a little more open and generous one.”