september 2015

Created in 2015









Our aim has not been to assign individual blame, 2009 – 2010

[ detail ]

andrew wenrick


Our aim has not been to assign individual blame, 2009 – 2010

[ details ]

andrew wenrick

details layout_sm
September 11, 2001 was not the beginning and, as we are ten years out, it is also not the end. It did though mark a very loud wake-up call to what some of us knew then and all of us know now as a global crisis in faith, cultures, and trust. We woke up one day and a lot of innocent people died and America’s iconic towers disappeared, but this was not, as a lot of people still do not comprehend, the work of one man in a specific space of time. This calamity has been unfolding over years and years with many players directly and indirectly involved.

When I opened up the book The 9/11 Commission Report and started reading, I was struck as to how much this read like a fictional novel. But what really resonated with me came in the preface. The sentence reads, “Our aim has not been to assign individual blame.” And this is a correct starting point because there really is not just one individual to be blamed for what was experienced on September 11th, and what we continue to experience today. The United States, among other nations, have had their hands mixing up the global dynamic to meet their current needs for a very long time. Allegiances pledged and won at one point have invariably been severed and swapped as foes. Those one-time allies are now using the support against them on the battle field. So, who is really to blame for the attacks on September 11th?

The piece Our aim has not been to assign individual blame (2009-2010) is about the ambiguity of our enemy and those involved either directly, indirectly or superficially, with September 11th. By taking all the names of the people mentioned in the Commission Report out of their original context, it blurs the relationship that person had in reference with this tragedy, either distorting or leveling the weight of their importance. But that blurring becomes less fuzzy when now looked at as a whole, on the canvas, due to the frequency of repetition of certain ‘players.’ Also, the randomness of the names now placed on the canvas provide interesting relationships and juxtapositions further blurring context and collusion.

Our aim has not been to assign individual blame, 2009 – 2010

130 x 260 cm total (51 x 102 inches total), acrylic and paper on canvas, 2 panels

andrew wenrick


The system was blinking red, 2009 – 2010

21 x 14 cm (8.25 x 5.5 inches), cut book

andrew wenrick

book pages_small_color_2
The phrase, “The medium is the message,” was coined by theorist Marshall McLuhan and was used to explain the concept of figure-ground. The theory was that in order to fully grasp the impact of a concept, the figure (the medium) and the ground (the context) should be examined together, “since neither is completely intelligible without the other.”

This is how I see the relationship between the piece The system was blinking red and the piece Our aim has not been to assign individual blame. One could not exist without the other and together they tell a more complete story.



Inside the book, The 9/11 Commission Report, there is a chapter titled Heroism and Horror. This chapter describes the 102 minutes of the morning on September 11th, in grizzly detail. Through this chapter we re-live the planes crashing and the towers falling. Blanketing the city in massive, forceful clouds of smoke and dust. It is in this section that a new figure has been cut into this ground, which depicts the towers standing tall then falling to dust. Through a short time lapse video the book reveals the voids from page to page. And towards the middle the voids decrease in intensity and the twin towers appear and then quickly disappear. Providing further context to the cut pages and voids containing all the missing names that quickly flip by.

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42 Webbs Road, SW11 6SF, London, +44 (0)742 763 6306 or +44 (0)207 223 8900


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