Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Falling Man

Google "falling man" and this image comes up time and time again. I will follow suit and post the image, but with the pertinent question: is it ethical to post this image? Also, how does the photograph function today?

DeLillo's novel Falling Man refers to this famous picture. In the text, a performance artist recreates the photo by placing himself at strategic locations around the city and jumping from a building tethered by a single rope. In the process, he assumes the position of the man in the photo. DeLillo's text asks the important question: "Falling Man as Hearless Exhibitionist or Brave New Chronicler of the Age of Terror" (220).

I believe DeLillo is asking us to remain shocked out of our daily routines, not to let 9/11 become simple history, and relearn the lessons of the event each day. Is this giving too much value to terrorism? Is performance art that interrupts our daily lives an important aspect in postmodern society? If art does not interrupt, what will?