E PLURIBUS: Reflections on the Fifteenth Anniversary of 9/11
E Pluribus was the inaugural exhibition of UNUM, the exhibit space adjacent to my studio at 3039 W. Carroll Avenue, Chicago. Opening: September 11, 2016
It subsequently was exhibited at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio.
It has been 15 years since September 11, 2001, and this anniversary is an important time for reflection.
Often artists make work as a respite from the times and contemporary issues, but the artists gathered here felt compelled to respond to the 9/11 attacks and the repercussions of those tragic events from which the world still reels. Through an unsentimental perspective, combined with beauty and craft, they call attention to, and offer opportunities for engagement about, topics ranging from drone strikes in Pakistan, to those detained without trial in Guantanamo, to the destruction and looting of ancient and contemporary culture from Iraq to Syria. On this anniversary, we can ask “what have we learned?” and hopefully find answers that can inform our actions in the future.
The artists represented are Mahwish Chishty, Amber Ginsburg and Aaron Hughes, Jackie Kazarian, Michael Rakowitz, Alison Ruttan, and myself, Barbara Koenen.
E Pluribus is an informal collective of artists who work independently and have joined together in recognition of this anniversary for a special project that offer exhibits of artwork and related programming, including artists talks and Story Corps interviews, to organizations that are working with people most impacted by the attacks – refugees, veterans, aid workers and their families.