"When London-based photographer Bettina von Zwehl began her artist’s residency at the New-York Historical Society last year, it had already been part of her practice to photograph people in profile for 18 years. Coming across profile drawings by Benjamin Tappan in the museum’s collection sparked this beautiful yet eerie new series of 17 portraits called “Meditations in an Emergency,” which recall the 17 students and staff members who were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day 2018.
Von Zwehl wanted viewers to be able to think about the work—spend time with it, in a low-light space with dark walls where the photographs are the focus of attention. It would seem impossible not to be riveted to each of these 17 moments: 17 children who, because of their prone position, stand in for both those performing mass die-ins in protest to irresponsible gun legislation in the United States and the school shootings that result from it; and for the victims of this modern American horror that, just like the portraits, repeat."
- Alyssa Coppelman, Hatje Cantz fotoblog
Please note: the project continues