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more information on Airplanes & Skyscrapers

"A wonderful story about memory of skyscrapers and graceful airplanes that need to find a place after the September 11 attacks. A combination of lecture and film, handyman and storyteller reminiscent of the work of the Dutch theater company Hotel Modern. Simple, powerful, without fuss and straight to the heart. Go see it. It is truly a small jewel in the flood of 9-11 documentaries." (VB, Nov. 28, 2002 for moose.nl)

date of publication: 10-02-2003

A Touching look at 'September 11'

"When did September 11th begin?", asks designer/performer Ricky Seabra in his interesting and sometimes touching video-performance 'Airplanes & Skyscrapers". After that he mentions and visualizes via an overheadprojector and video images a few possible interessting tangents. Like the previous bomb attack bomb attack on the parking garage of the WTC, the Hollywood movie 'towering Inferno" from 1974 or a bizarre event from 1948 in which a massive flock of Canadian birds on their traditional journey south hit the Empire State Building.

Seabra studied in New York and Eindhoven, cooperated in dance productions as an artist and designer in Brazil the United States and Europe and designed promotional material for movies such as Pulp Fiction and the Piano. He got international recognition for his module concept to send artists and social scientists into space. In his multimedia project Seabra shares his ideas, knowledge memories and feelings. He does the same with the joy of drawing constructions that literally stand over tall buildings. And his awe and fear for and air and space flights and skyscrapers. Did you ever imagine, for instance, that the top of the Empire State Buildling was meant as a landing sight for zepplins?

On September 11 he was in Holland, but it seems like he knows the Twin Towers like the palm of his hand. In words and poetic visions he conjures up his first encounter with the towers twenty years ago. From the observation deck on the 110th floor he saw all but19 airplanes hanging as fireflies in the air. He also saw a breathtaking sunset that upon closer inspection was due to the chemical waste dumps of the factories of nearby New Jersey.

The choice of music is historically well thought out and in tune with the subject matter, from Petula Clark to Fleetwood Mac to the American National Anthem. What even makes this audiovisual lecture more pleasant is that it never goes over your head. Seabra also proves that some safety measures in airplanes are ridiculous and he gives a funny mini-course in "self-defense against hijackers", together with a practical example using the shoe bomber which was shortly after captured after Sept.11.

At the end he's not pleading so much to erect a monument commemorating the victims and the heroic rescue workers that died but especially to reflect posthumously on the collosal and imposing image of the Twin Towers of which he gives an amazing impression reflected in glass. Doing so Seabra gives back to the world something of the gigantic status symbol which is sadly absent.

A Personal Artistic Impression

"Nine-eleven" through Ricky Seabra's eyes

by Rob Nederpelt

On the 110th floor of the WTC was the observation deck. There the world city was at your feet while far away airplanes were cruised the skies. For the Brazilian-American Ricky Seabra that spot was equal to pure happiness during his stay in New York during the 80's. He was a student of graphic design and obsessed with everything that had to do with space. Especially, he couldn't get enough of airplanes and skyscrapers. The disaster of Sept 2001 touched him in his heart even though he had already moved to Amsterdam.

Over a year after nine-eleven Seabra transformed his shock into an artistic impression that is also very personal. He uses manipulated film and video to create an image of what is going on in his mind. he does that impressively and with utmost creativity. For him, the projection of his two forearms on a large film screen is enough to create an image of the collapsing twin towers. Meanwhile, he tells his own stories of how he laid on the ground and looked up at the two collossi. How the elevator shot up to the rooftop of NYC and how, even after Sept. 11th practically nothing changed, that the risks are still enormous. He shows how wonderful modern technological developments are and how vulnerable they make us.

What performer Ricky Seabra makes us feel very well is that on that disastrous day much more collapsed than a couple of skyscrapers. In beautiful orignial pictures this In Memoriam shows that progressive thought got a dizzying blow that will be felt long hereafter. The happiness and the innocence of old film images have been replaced by fear and confusion. It will be a long time until those have past.

newspaper: Brabants Dagblad Ed. Tilburg
date: 03.03.2003, Page: 6

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