FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors
Powerful Exhibition Of 9.11.01 Images Opens In Chicago
Here is New York: a democracy of photographs at 72 East Randolph Street Features Images by Professional and Amateur Photographers
February 1 - March 30, 2002
CHICAGO (February 1, 2002) - An exhibition of more than 1,500 photographs relating directly to the events of the September 11 World Trade Center tragedy and its aftermath opens today in Chicago. Here is New York: a democracy of photographs, a grass-roots exhibition that evolved from a single image into an international phenomenon, is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at 72 East Randolph St. and remains on view through March 30, 2002.
The exhibition is sponsored by Target Stores and Marshall Field's.
The Chicago presentation of Here is New York is the first major venue for the exhibition outside of New York, where it was seen by more than 300,000 visitors. The exhibition began with one photograph of the World Trade Center hung, immediately after the attacks, in the window of an empty SoHo storefront 20 blocks from Ground Zero. Through word-of-mouth, hundreds and then thousands of images were submitted by amateur and professional photographers, and as many as 3,000 visitors a day lined up to view the exhibition. Organized by the not-for-profit group of the same name, Here Is New YorkO, the Chicago presentation will replicate the democratic forum of the original New York City exhibition.
"Here is New York is a compelling exhibition that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "It is a testament not only to the devastation and horror experienced by the people of New York on September 11, but to the strength, heroism and hope with which they faced it."
Named after E. B. White's acclaimed 1949 essay that portrays the formidable character of New York and its innate vulnerability, Here is New York includes powerful and poignant anonymous images that have been digitally scanned into the project archive, printed on archival paper and hung floor to ceiling without frames or names and clipped to wires. the first 24 hours, an 11-minute documentary shot immediately after the tragedy, will also be shown continuously in the gallery. (A longer version of the documentary will be screened at the Claudia Cassidy Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center at scheduled dates and times.) Digital prints will be available for sale at $25 each, as well as the film in VHS or DVD format for $30. Net proceeds will go to the Children's Aid Society's World Trade Center Relief Fund and other charities, for the benefit of those victims who are most in need. Chicagoans and visitors are invited to contribute their own photographs relating to the events of 09.11.01, which will be scanned on site, added to the archive and included in the exhibition.
"We are privileged to host this exhibition which, through a myriad of lenses, bears powerful witness to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center," said Lois Weisberg Commissioner of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "People across the nation and throughout the world were affected by the events of September 11. Chicagoans have felt a special empathy with the people of New York and this exhibition gives us a chance to reflect upon and honor their experience."
Here is New York was conceived by four individuals: Alice Rose George, independent curator and photo editor; Gilles Peress, an internationally acclaimed photo documentarian; Michael Shulan, a writer and the owner of the SoHo storefront; and Charles Traub, a photographer and Chairperson of the MFA Program in Photography and the Related Media at New York School of Visual Arts. Their aim was to create a forum for people to think about what had happened, and present a way of making sense of all of the haunting images. The exhibition evolved into a photographic memorial to the tragic events of September 11.
"We initially thought that Here is New York would exist for a short time in New York as a respite for the public to bear witness to the events of September 11, but the overwhelming response to this exhibition has demonstrated a clear need for these images to be seen by an even broader audience," said Charles Traub, one of the founding directors of Here is New York. "Thanks to the support of Target Stores and Marshall Field's and our collaboration with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Here is New York can continue to bridge the gap of the experience of New Yorkers with that of Chicago."
"Target learned about Here is New York after it had been on display in New York for only a few weeks, but it was evident immediately that a phenomenal event was taking place," said Ann Aronson, Director of Community Relations Marketing, Target Corporation. "The grass-roots effort of a few individuals established a forum for thousands of people to express their reactions to 9/11 - that's community at its best. Like many of the visitors, the range of emotion expressed in the imagery profoundly moved us. Target and Marshall Field's are honored to help sustain the mission of this exhibition by bringing it to Chicago."
Since opening the New York exhibition, Here is New York has established itself as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to archiving and exhibiting these images around the world and donating net proceeds from sales of prints to public charities that assist those whose lives have been directly affected by the tragedy. Here is New York raised more than $500,000 from the sale of digital prints, averaging 700 sales a day during the first two months alone. These funds were allocated to the Children's Aid Society's World Trade Center Relief Fund for the children of the lowest paid victims 3/4 people such as cleaning staff, private tradesmen and service people.
Here is New York continues to develop rapidly. Today there are more than 4,000 photographs in the archive, many of which are available at http://www.hereisnewyork.org. The website has already received almost 100 million hits and with plans to travel the exhibition to other venues throughout the world, Here is New York potentially will be the most seen exhibition in history and the largest archive of its kind.
About Target Corporation
Target Corporation has one of the largest giving programs in America and has consistently been among the nation's largest corporate philanthropists. Since 1946, the corporation has invested five percent of its federally taxable income in the communities it serves. Target Corporation is the only major retailer to make this commitment. Target Stores and Marshall Field's are part of Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT), a company that operates large-store general merchandise formats, including discount stores, moderate-priced promotional and traditional department stores, as well as a direct mail and on-line business called target.direct. The company currently operates 1,383 stores in 47 states. This includes 1,055 Target Stores, 264 Mervyn's stores and 64 Marshall Field's. Exhibition Hours and Location here is new york: a democracy of photographs will be open seven days a week, including holidays, from 10 am to 6 pm, at 72 East Randolph Street in Chicago. Admission is free. 72 East Randolph is a city-owned building managed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at 312.744.6630 or visit www.cityofchicago.org/CulturalAffairs.
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Additional CDCA Press Contacts: Donna Metz 312.744.2390 and Jill Hurwitz, 312.742.1148. Available: Press Kits, Interviews, and Images (Slides, Photos, Electronic Images, Video Cassettes) to be used only in conjunction with the exhibition.
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