Magazine article Artforum International

World Trade Center. (When Words Don't Fail)

Magazine article Artforum International

World Trade Center. (When Words Don't Fail)

Article excerpt

Several weeks before the attack on the World Trade Center, a friend gave me a copy of Seneca's essay "On the Shortness of Life." In the days since, sentences from it have mingled with the memory of standing on a fire escape in Brooklyn and watching the towers burn like monstrous candles. "It is not that we have a short space of time," Seneca writes, "but that we waste much of it." Enumerating the occasions of such waste, Seneca describes the desperate pursuit of social status, of wealth that few can hope to obtain, of routine pleasures one has ceased to enjoy, of power for the sole reason of its own display, and a litany of other sinkholes of time and vitality. I am not by nature a pessimist and certainly not an ascetic, but these words hit home in ways that were unimaginable just a short while ago, as the shades of people I did not know and of one artist I knew slightly added themselves to those of friends who have died of AIDS and others who have been forced to deal urgently with time's preciousness and the ir control over its expenditure. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.