Today’s news:

9/11 art exhibition removed at JCAL

The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning has removed an art installation which depicted images of people falling from the World Trade Center and which attracted complaints from passersby.

“Falling,” an exhibit by Manhattan artist Sharon Paz, was made up of white silhouettes of people plummeting in various poses spread across the 11 large windows at the center at 161-04 Jamaica Ave. The images were supposed to be on display through Oct. 5, but they were removed Monday evening, a spokeswoman for JCAL said.

“We have had both positive and negative comments from people,” said JCAL Executive Director Alexander Campos in an interview with the TimesLedger Monday.

The center had no comments on the removal of the exhibit, a spokeswoman said.

The artwork came under scrutiny days after a sculpture on the same theme was pulled from a Rockefeller Center exhibition. “Tumbling Woman,” a bronze statue of a woman hitting the ground, was placed behind a curtain when it drew outrage from viewers.

At JCAL, the exhibit opened Sept. 11 on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The artwork was born out of the media images that showed people tumbling from the Twin Towers, according to Paz’s statement on the exhibit.

“I found the images of the people falling the most disturbing and wanted to deal with them to overcome the fear,” she wrote. “I felt the need to explore this moment, to bring out the reality within the memory that this event burns into our minds.”

For Paz, her exhibit addresses the raw human element of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, she said.

“I felt the media concentrated in using the building or nationalism for memory and left the human side out of the event,” Paz said in her statement. “The work shows another perspective about the issue, the human side that makes people confront the hard reality.”

Campos defended the piece, saying the center thought it was presented in a tasteful way.

“We do know that the installation deals with a very difficult matter, but we felt it dealt with it in a graceful and powerful manner,” he said.

And like Paz, Campos hoped it would serve as a memorial, while opening a dialogue among people still struggling with how to cope with the events, he said.

Tracey Houston, a Long Island woman who was passing the building Tuesday morning, agreed.

“It shouldn’t upset people,” she said. “It’s good to remember what happened. Maybe it will wake people up a little bit. We take so much for granted.”

Several others walking down Jamaica Avenue Tuesday had not seen the exhibition, but one daily newspaper reported that several people expressed outrage as they passed the building while the images still were displayed in the windows.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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