Ask The Ages Sculpture by Hank De Ricco

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Ask The Ages

Hank De Ricco

United States


Size: 145 W x 48 H x 4 in

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Art Description

Sculpture: Wood, Color on Wood, Other.

I made the first piece I created with bent and laminated wood in 2000 titled Orbit. In 2001,my second laminated piece was in process when 9-11 happened . . .
On that day I had gone to vote at the local polling place in the grammar school in my Brooklyn neighborhood, as was my custom. It was a crystal clear crisp autumn day the sky seemed exceptionally blue. As I walked to my train I heard what sounded like the crash of thunder. I remember thinking it odd that there was thunder with such a clear sky and no clouds to be seen. On my commute to work the train stopped at the World Trade Center station. People on the platform were crying several looked dazed. I ask someone as they got on the train,” What has happened?” He replied a plane had flown into the World Trade Center I immediately thought of a piper cub much like the one that had flown into an apartment building on the East River a month or so before. That initial assumption was soon proved wrong. Exiting the train on 23rd Street I walked up sixth towards 27th where I was working at the time. As I walked up town I noticed people in convenience stores crowded around the front counters watching TVs I stopped for a coffee in time to watch the first tower fall live on the news. On the Street and in the office when I arrived everyone was talking about the airliners hitting the towers and the horror of witnessing people jumping to their deaths. I stepped out onto the terrace outside our offices which had a view downtown all the way to the World Trade Center site. We watch smoke rising from the remaining tower for a little while and then that tower collapsed before our eyes. While I was not one of the unfortunate people to be directly touched by this tragic catastrophe either through injury, or the loss of knowing one of the victims, I am sure I was not alone in feeling stunned and stricken and at a loss as to how to process events of such magnitude. Much as the nation itself struggled to understand the traumatic events and formulate a response amid a constant flood of grizzly details and endless replays of the planes’ impacts on the news. I myself was gripped with the need to try to understand what had happened and the need to do something to counter these horrific acts. I ended up doing two things; the first was I got a book about Mohammed and read it in an attempt to find how such atrocities could be condoned by a religion and done in the name of God. I was relieved to not find anything in the story of Mohammed and the beginning of Islam that would support the actions of the terrorists. As regards my own response to the events of the day initially I was at a deficit as to what to do. What could one do that might have any significance or any effect? I gravitated to my studio and continued working on the piece that was underway. I did the one life affirming thing that was in my power to do. Rather than give into feelings of powerlessness and anger the simple act of doing the repetitive act of joining layer on layer of wood gave me solace, it was a comfort from a bruising day. I went on and on, days became months. Eventually the piece I was working on became the central element flanked by two additional elements in a triptych titled Ask the Ages.





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