Frames of Horror

31/12/2003


The almost cinematographic sequence shows the moment in which the catastrophe is revealed as deliberate; the smoking north tower after the impact of the American Airlines plane, the United Airlines aircraft coming closer and finally hitting the south tower of the World Trade Center; only repetition gives the cue of the horror. After that shocked awareness came the flames severing the steel structure, the anguish of those trapped inside, the disjointed fall of those fleeing from a suffocating inferno, the final collapse of the towers upon their foundations like volcanic flowers of dust and ashes, the stampede of panic and the despairing exodus of the surviving crowd. The live broadcast of horror makes analysis unnecessary: we do not need a Baudrillard to interpret the images. We know that the unanimous figures of the victims – united in their human condition by shared grief, the commotion of fear, the white dust that renders them statuary – shall remain engraved in our visual memory as the still gestures of the Guernica, and after that frightened herd of vulnerable animals the stage will be taken up by eternal gestures of helpless and defenseless pain, summarizing in Manhattan’s Ground Zero the representation of all catastrophes...[+]