Following the announcement, we now present you the photos from the exhibition ‘20 Years After – an Alternate View’ here on GoSee. The exhibition was attended by a far greater number of visitors than expected, and the photographer was busy telling the story behind it.
Beauty & fashion photographer and Director TIM PETERSEN was in New Jersey at the time and photographed the events which would change the world that day by chance with his analogue camera. He was so deeply shocked that he never developed the films – not until two years ago.
This extremely expressive solo exhibition by the German photographer, who calls New York his home, presents an alternate view of the events of 9/11 twenty years later. The exhibition contains a series of prints in chronological order as well as a gripping video installation. Tim’s photographs grant intimate insight into never-before-seen perspectives.
“I woke up on September 11th to one of the most beautiful days you can imagine. Sunrise, clear blue sky, fresh and earthy smelling early autumn air and at 8 AM temperatures already in the mid-70s. I opened all the windows, made myself a coffee and switched on my turquoise colored, first generation iMac.
Howard Stern was on the radio, still broadcasting via regular airwaves. He was just telling the story of how he made out with Pamela Anderson but couldn’t close the deal when he said: “I don’t mean to interrupt the fun, but this is a breaking story, a serious news story, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.” That sounded surreal. Nobody knew what was going on, they suspected a small commuter plane had accidentally crashed into one of the towers. I turned my head to the window and indeed, there was a massive block of smoke coming out of the North Tower. It looked very dramatic and eerily beautiful, like a ginormous art installation that made the skyline look like a toy train steam engine, with puffy smoke billowing out of the chimney. But that chimney was the North Tower of the World Trade Center, in front of that crystal clear blue sky. Don’t get me wrong, there was no real sense of casualties, surely that plane must have bounced off that gigantic building, hopefully everybody was fine, and Howard Stern returned to the Pamela Anderson story.
… The light was as majestic as I have ever seen it. The sunset put a perfect golden reflection on the shimmery skyline, and all those little windows looked like golden nuggets. The sun didn’t seem to have noticed what happened that day. The Empire State Building stood in perfect light, and it was the tallest building in the skyline, like in the 60s. She almost looked gleeful like she wanted to say, “Look, I am still here!.” It was such a surreal toy landscape. The dark dust cloud put a picturesque contrast on the backdrop. It looked like a gigantic smoke machine had created an elaborate set for a Terminator movie. Except, by now, I knew that this dark cloud was full of burned human remains, yet my shot looked like a Tiffany’s ad from the 60s. I only took a few frames, almost threw up and never finished that roll.
Then I went straight to a local bar. It was packed – nobody wanted to stay home – at least not alone…
A few days later, I developed the film. The only reason I did is because on one of them was still a few frames of Emma’s first day of school, the roll I started shooting with, and I didn’t know which roll that was. By now, we knew about the full scope of 9/11. I had seen the photographs that were taken, in comparison, mine must be embarrassingly meaningless, and all I wanted to do is throw them away. I didn’t want to see them, I didn’t want anybody else to see them, and most importantly, I did not want to be reminded. I never looked at them and I never made a contact sheet so I had no idea what was on them…” Hear the whole captivating story directly from Tim!
Tim Petersen is a New York-based photographer and director who specializes in fashion, celebrities and beauty. For almost 30 years, he has been consistently contributing to countless international publications and campaigns such as VOGUE, Vanity Fair, ELLE, and AMICA, just to name a few. Tim Petersen’s studio is located in the heart of the financial district in Manhattan. www.16beaverstudio.com
Wilhelm Hallen, Kopenhagener Str. 60-72, 13407 Berlin, Duration: 5-19 September, 2021.