“Falling Man” and the Intericonicity of 9/11 Pictures
After the attack on the WTC on September 11, 2001, a debate began around its artistic representability: according to some, visualizing the horror was a way of traversing the trauma, while others characterized it as an even crueler sort of violence. Some photographers hesitated to publish their images. Which iconographical forms did they reproduce, challenge, or renew? Did the horror emerge in its bleeding materiality or in its metaphysical essentiality? Did these photos influence the writers who devoted stories to the attack? Examining in particular Don DeLillo’s Falling Man (2007), together with the mimetic capital it faces, this paper reflects on the relationship between the intericonicity of 9/11 pictures and the artistic representability of collective traumas.
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