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Gerard's Studio in New York City 
a dedication to the heroes and victims of 911
by Gerard Peter PaS (written in the fall / winter of 2001)
a light in the darkness

This was my studio in New York City during the fall and winter of 2001. The studio was also the location of my exhibition "corpoREAL (exCHANGE)" which opened on November 3, 2001. The exhibition consisted of works I made in collaboration with Huang Chih-Yang of Taipei City, Taiwan and Chuck Close of New York City. To see works from these exhibitions please click on the "Projects" link above or here for Chuck Close — here for Huang Chih-Yang.

The studio was kindly provided me by my patron CrossPathCulture (CPC) with the assistance of the White Box - The Annex Gallery, New York. It is located on the 14th Floor of 601 West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, on the Hudson, in the district of Chelsea. The building was named or is otherwise known as the Starlett-Helmsely Building. The studio was shared with Huang Chih-Yang who worked in an other area of this space (not seen below).

Gerard (far right) at the 1965 NYC World Fair with his sister Margaret Pas (who now lives in Brooklyn) and cousins (who have since moved upstate).
This was the year in which Disney introduced it's concept ride or animated electronic display, titled "it's a Small, Small World". As much as I hate to admit anything on a equal tangent with Disney - but in terms of what they know best, the media, they couldn't have sung it better than when the world watched, in terror, the events of 911 unfolding around us through the electronic media. It is a small world.

I put together this page as I was working on the installation "The foREST" with Huang Chih-Yang, as well as building my "Portrait of Chuck Close". With the photos below I wanted to simply convey my work environment during the fall and winter of 2001 and also show some of the photographs which I had taken in the months preceding and after September 11th. I purposely withdrew from the macabre and images of destruction, as I've already seen enough of those and each one makes me lament yet again. I felt it important to show that life is for the living and that New York is strong and continues on with it's wounds, yet still needing the catharsis of it's citizens, who love it so. I also tried to steer away from the the saccrine and facile "feel good about america pictures". I just wanted a sort of day to day diary of my life and vistas in NYC. It was a very difficult time for all, not just the loss of life, the horrible destruction of 40 acres of it's buildings but the anthrax scares and other hysteria of the day. I regret the terrible price that had to be paid but as a lover of New York, I have never been there in kinder times than the months after. The subway train would be stopped for an anthrax scare and people would talk to one another. People started caring for each other and for good reason: we had learned just how delicate the balance of life is collectively. All of the photos where taken by me Gerard Pas © 2001-02 (unless otherwise stated) using a Nikon CoolPix 990 digital camera.

New York is the greatest city in the world to me. I first visited New York in the company of my parents, who took us to meet some of my family who lived in the Bronx and also to see the 1965 Worlds Fair in Queens. From that time forward New York has not only filled my imagination but it has provided me with an endless litany of inspiration. New York is my Muse. It is the one city in the World where I always feel at home. Yes, I have my own special love and nostalgia for Amsterdam, my original home. An affection for Cologne, Germany which gave me so much support in my early days as an artist. Yet New York remains unique to me. London - Canada is my other home to New York - my family, children and partner still live there so it also conjures up certain feelings - but nothing compares to New York. I can truly say "I love New York" and today after all the debacles of the last year, I can say "I love New York even more!"

To the courage of the Firemen - Fire Women, Police, Ambulance Attendants and all those who gave of and risked their lives, I give thanks - you are dearly missed and appreciated! I look to your gift of courage with such respect and admiration, even today when a Fire Truck or EMS vehicle goes by I stop and ponder on your valour and the path of danger which is put in their way. For months I couldn't get in a uptown train and not see your friends and colleagues, in their fine dress, heading up to St. Pat's on 5th Ave. to celebrate your life's and the tragic loss there off. What a veil of tears has been shed on your behalf - even the Hudson seems tiny to the course of tears we have all wept. You have shown us that there is light and goodness and have given the highest gift any person could give another, you gave your life.
To the innocent victims and families of this heinous act of hate - my sincere condolences and sympathy - we are all struck with grief at your loss. Your loss is incomprehensible to me and 911 would stand forever as a dark, dark day for humanity where it not for the light shone by the courage of those heroes mentioned above.

My prayer is that we can keep New York the great City for which you risked and gave your life's for - God bless you.

I dedicated this page, my above projects and their exhibition to all the victims of the September 11th tragedy, as an artist this is all I have to give. I would also like to thank my sister Margaret Pas for her hospitality and kindness in making New York so accessible to me.

Gerard Pas - New York



Post-Script: Even as I write certain of our civil liberties are being eroded and cannibalized by those fear and war mongers who have been entrusted to run our governments. I realize the gravity and danger which surrounds us on a daily basis, even and quite apart from those who would wish to harm us, let us not legislate away our greatest treasure, our freedoms and liberty just because of a few. I don't need filters put on library computers, I hate walking down the street with cameras watching me on three differing axis and I resent people reading my e-mails indiscreetly, I weep at the idea of people being arrested with no probable cause other than they meet the criteria of a profile, just to mention a few examples.

Nicole Pas on the Staten Island Ferry in the months before 9/11
Gerard's daughter Nicole on the Staten Island Ferry with the World Trade Center towers in the background in 2000.

My favourite thing to do with my spare time in New York is to ride the Staten Island Ferry, for several reasons:
1. With tongue in cheek "It brings out the Dutch in me - what all that water and yes, it's free.
2. I get to see the splendid skyline of Lower Manhattan, which is as good a view of Manhattan as the view from the BQE looking across the East River.
3. Most importantly: it sails past by "Lady Liberty" which reminds me of those, whose back I stand on, when it comes to the freedoms I have on this great continent.

The Images

view from the west 26th  looking north up the west side towards uptown

- This is the view from my studio on West 26th (on the Hudson River) facing north, looking up the west side towards midtown and uptown Manhattan - Chelsea / New York City.
- In this 180 degree angle picture you can see the Empire State Building on the east side (right of picture) to Hoboken, New Jersey on the west side of the Hudson River (left).
- Looking in this direction: it is resplendent New York without the tragedies of what occurred in the weeks before.

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how I assembled the above photo - New Yorks west side

- The same view as above but showing how I assembled the above photo to create the panorama of uptown and midtown Manhattan.

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night view of New Yorks west sdie from W. 26th next to the Hudson River

- Essentially the same view as above only at night and photographed a little wider.
- The windows on both left and right sides are the studio windows.
- The bright lights to the middle - right are from Times Square which lights up even the already bright New York Sky
- To the far right illuminated in Red, White and Blue is the Empire State Building which has been lit this way since 911. In fact New York was almost completely draped in Red, White and Blue flags from top to bottom even days after the tragedy, every store and building, from apt. windows, everything.

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the studio as I first saw it roof of CrossPathCulture's past office space on Times Square

- The image on the left shows the studio as I first saw it the day it was shown to Cannon Hersey, Director of CrossPathCulture and I, by Juan Puntes, Director of the White Box Gallery.
- On the right is the roof of CrossPathCulture's offices on Times Square on top of Chashama Theatre, New York (CPC since moved to 50th St. and 7th also on the very top off Times Square).

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looking out the back window of W. 26th towards the Financial District in lower Manhattan sunset on the Financial District of New York showing the scars after 911

- These are views out the back window of our building in Chelsea looking south to the Financial District of lower Manhattan with a close up on the right.
- right photo: The red scars (tarps) on the Seagram's Towers next to the site of the now missing World Trade Center (WTC) say it all. these towers where designed by Mies Van Der Rohe and they are normally entirely black.
- left photo: Lady Liberty can be seen on the right side of this picture between the financial district and Jersey City.

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lower Manhattan just weeks before 911 lower Manhattan just days after 911

- The photo on the left shows lower Manhattan during the summer of 2001 while driving down the east side of the BQE, just before the Brooklyn Bridge. Like cell phones, digitals are great as you can use them while you drive, whoops!
- The right photo shows the same area on September 17th, 2001 but driving west on the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway).
- What astonishes me in both these images is the clarity of the sky and the blue of the ocean even after such darkness, something's remain true blue I guess? Nevertheless, the sky is scared where the WTC Towers used to stand and when I cross any of the lower east side bridges, I look over and feel their absence.

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the NASDAQ on Times Square construction workers messages on Microsofts new Times Square building

- I took these photos of Times Square just a few days after the disaster of Sept. 11, 2001 (911) they convey the loss which all New Yorkers felt.
- As stated above in the night skyline photo (table 3), everything was covered in the flag, additionally construction workers left personal messages on the scaffolding of Microsoft's new building on Times Square (right photo).

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the World Trade Towers as seen from Tribeca found image from the internet - Sept. 11th 

- The picture on the left was taken during the spring of 2001 it shows the WTC Towers in happier times from a friends roof top apartment in Tribeca looking down onto Church Street.
- The image on the right was given me by my son Joshua Pas who found it on the web in Canada and for which the photo credit is unknown to us: what a frightening juxtaposition.

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school childrens art from around the world decorate the subway stations around  lower Manhattan Huang Chih-Yang looks at the messages and art in the subway

- left: In the weeks after the tragedy school children from all over the world sent drawings and projects to New York.
Here you can see how some of them were displayed in a subway station near the WTC, below the drawings are donations of food and water placed there by passers by. The two spectres or monsters lifting out of the buildings in the large painting on the left certainly tells you something about how these kids perceived this event.
- right: Huang Chih-Yang (with whom I was working with) looks at the art works sent from school children in the Canal and Broadway St. station.

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National Guardsman block access to Broadway below Canal St. American GI's billboard on Times Square

- Everything became kinda of crazy in the weeks that followed 911, with a new war and anthrax scares, police from all over America, soldiers, National Guard, security forces and fighter jets in the canopy of sky above the city.
- left: National Guard standing on Broadway and Canal Streets / when you crossed any of the major bridges in the weeks following 911 it felt like you should have your passport ready with all the national guard, soldiers and their security checks.

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horse mounted Police line up on Times Square peace protestors on Union Square

- left: Horse mounted police line up their horses on Times Sq.
- right: For every war there is also an antiwar sentiment / the image on the right was taken a week after the tragedy and shows peace protesters camped on Union Square.

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horse mounted Police line up on Times Square
  walking down broadway at the site of the World Trade Center tragedy

- Never has such an event been watched by so many directly as did see the horror of that day - I pray we all learn something from it.
- top left: The world comes to share in the grief felt by all as people stop and read the messages left on Broadway St. just a few hundred feet from the site of the World Trade Center tragedy months after things had returned to what might be considered normal in lower Manhattan - you couldn't get this close for many months after Sept. 11th.
- top right: I looked through a whole in the fence at the church where all of the objects in the left photo could be seen. What I saw reinforced this truth: our life's are indeed just a vapour in the chronicles of time.
- bottom: I found these prayers and candles sitting on the street on Times Square: they convey the solace we all felt for the innocent victims and heroes of this tragic event.

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Pan Xing Lei as the "bei wei buddha" on Times Sq.

- My friend, the Chinese / New York artist Pan Xing Lei does a performance for CrossPathCulture in the large window of the Chashama Theater on Times Sq. just weeks after Sept. 11th. Dressed as the "bei wei buddha", with a gas mask and figures of carnage in the background, Pan creates a striking and provocative performance for New Yorkers to see on the street.
- As a side note: this image was used as the cover of a book on Pan Xing's work published in China shortly there after.

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Click for enlargement. Click for enlargement.

- Life is for the living and life does goes on - I took these pictures several weeks after 911 at the Bronx Museum during the opening of "The Hip Hop" exhibition there 2001.

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Post Script

the site of the WTC tragedy in June of 2002  view of Jersey City, lower Manhatan and Brooklyn, June 2002.

- left: I took this image in June of 2002, exactly 9 months and 11 days after 911. It's looking down a street at what is now called the site of the WTC tragedy. All the horror has been stripped away and it looks much like any generic construction site. vendors have returned and posters honouring the fallen are everywhere, by corporate sponsors from around the world - in true New York fashion.
- right: I took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry with my mother and sister who where visiting from Canada. we sailed out of the South Port terminal by Lady Liberty (c.f. ps. above) and back again. I was impressed with this emotion: while the sky is still scarred in my minds eye by the absence of the twin towers and several other buildings from the left of the island, it's still a impressive view from Jersey City on the left to lower Manhattan in the centre , the Brooklyn bridge and my domicile in Brooklyn to the to the right. yes impressive by any standard.

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911 - see Gerard's medium QuicKTime movie 911 - see Gerard's small QuicKTime movie
 medium movie
2,834 kb
6.8 min. @ 56k
3.4 sec. @ 128k
or download movie here
small movie
1 ,970 kb
4.7 min. @ 56k
2.4 min. @ 128k
or download movie here
- I made this little film from footage I shot out of the studio window on W. 26th, one evening in October of 2001. it sort of expresses how I feel about 911 as best such a very little film can. 911 is the number for “emergency” on our telephones in North America.
- To view this digital film online simply click on the above 911 image and an embedded page with Apple - QuickTime open for you to view it. If you do not have a QuickTime player you can get a free QuickTime player from Apple by clicking on their logo's below - this page will not close.
Download Apples QuickTime Player

... please click on the images to see the movies ...


On May 1, 2011 Osama Bin Laden leader of Al Qaeda and mastermind of the attacks on the World Trade Center was killed by American forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice."
Proverbs 24:17

"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Author Unkown

all images where taken using a nikon CoolPix 990 digital camera
and remain the copyright of Gerard Pas © 2001-02

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