I knew no one who died that day. I couldn’t even remember when I had last visited the World Trade Center. But when the towers fell, I was immensely shocked and filled with a sadness I’d never experienced before.
It took two weeks to gather the courage to go to Manhattan and witness the site with my own eyes. Friends would ask me, “How can you go down there?” and I remember thinking, “How can you not?”
For the past ten years, Albany artist Marie Triller has been visiting Ground Zero on the anniversary of September 11 to photograph the people who gather to remember the attacks. A personal response to a previously unimaginable tragedy. Triller’s annual pilgrimage has yielded an ever-growing collection of powerful images, some of which she’s exhibited both locally and nationally.
Now she’s compiled more than 100 of her images into “Ten Years: Remembering 9/11,” a stunning document of the anguish, bewilderment and dignity of the visitors that flock to the site each anniversary.
The photographs are at once heartbreaking and inspiring, ranging from intimate, personal moments to grand panoramas. Especially affecting are her portraits: Firefighters and police officers. Veterans, peace activists and conspiracy theorists. People lost in thought. A group of children smiling for the camera. People holding photographs of their lost ones. A woman wearing a sequinned flag vest, weeping.
The book also includes short essays by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Eleanor Heartney, contributing editor of Art in America, but the photographs are only captioned with the year they were taken, allowing the images to speak for themselves. Taken as a whole, they are a remarkable window into our collective consciousness of that awful day and its continuing aftermath.
“10 Years: Remembering 9/11,” is available locally at The New York State Museum, The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza, The Albany Institute of History and Art, The College of St. Rose Campus Store, Market Block Books in Troy and Martinez Gallery in Troy and online from Amazon.
Marie Triller will discuss her remembrance project and her efforts to tell “a truer story of that bright, dark day” in a free presentation at the Albany Institute of History and Art at 2pm on Sunday, September 25.
To see more images from “Ten Years: Remembering 9/11” click here.
Published by John Isaacs Books, “Ten Years: Remembering 9/11” is available online at Amazon, as well as in the following stores: the Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland; the New York State Museum in Albany, the Albany Institute of History & Art in Albany, the College of Saint Rose Campus Store in Albany; Martinez Gallery in Troy; Market Block Books in Troy; the New York Historical Society in NYC; Museum of the City of New York in NYC; the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site and the Memorial Visitor Center at Ground Zero in NYC.
Shawn Stone profiles Marie Triller in Metroland: Photographer Marie Triller Documents 10 Years of 9/11 Remembrances in Her Powerful New Book
Alyssa Jung profiles Marie Triller at Saratoga Spotlight: 10 Years Later, Photographer Remembers 9/11