Chicago Artists’ Coalition / United 93 / Gerry Lubensky


A year ago I spoke at the Chicago Artists’ Coalition. What was most memorable about this signing? The enthusiasm of the crowd, and the diversity of talent. What was most curious? A photographer from the Chicago Reader who couldn’t seem to get the right angle. What was the most interesting? A group of kids down the street, in front of the Chicago Art Institute Museum, who were drumming away on a set of boxes. Street performers from the South Side. I mean they were good. I tossed some bills in the hat, bent down, and said they ought to get a manager. The oldest one grinned, and said, “How about you, cuz?” I told him I already had enough artists to manage.

The best things about United 93? The piercing honesty, the objectivity, the refusal to take sides in this complex issue that goes back over 100 years, and the forthright telling of a brutal series of events. But that objectivity changes nothing about the losses of that day, the enormous tragedy, the horror for those involved, and the trauma for the families left behind. Great film, just not easy to watch.

Piece at top by Gerry Lubensky. Used it in an installation for one of my clients. Note Arabic script.

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