When It Was Now
New Mexican photographer exhibits 9/11 images
History has snuck up on me. One moment, it was now: when I first heard the news of the planes crashing. I recall it clearly—as do many of you—and it’s irrelevant that we remember different moments. It seems enough that we remember.
I recall being 6 or 7 and not really knowing what the Vietnam War was or when it had happened—and I remember seeing in my grandpa’s face how my ignorance wounded him a little. A veteran of the Air Force, he’d served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam; of course it was unimaginable that Vietnam wasn’t looming large in all American minds.
Photographer Eric O’Connell was living in Manhattan when 9/11 happened. His personal story is pretty amazing—he’s lucky to be alive—but mostly what’s worth noting is the now that he captured on film in all its awful chaos and chilling stillness. The shared remembrance that so many of us possess, the way we still exchange the where-I-was-when stories, must slowly but inexorably give way to a remembrance grounded in images like these.
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 5:30 to 8pm
Albuquerque Photographer’s Gallery
303 Romero NW