Frank Schramm, Stand-ups – Reporting Live from Ground Zero

From September 13, 2011 to November 20, 2011

To mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th, the Musée de l’Elysée presents an unseen series of photographs by Frank Schramm, Stand-ups - Reporting Live from Ground Zero. No shots of the destroyed twin towers, piled up rubble, dusty ruins, haggard or shocked crowds appear in these images: the New York photographer focused on the television journalists covering the event during the eight weeks following the attacks.

The series serves as a manifesto: terrorism - and the ensuing international disputes - could not exist without the major role played by the media and the images they broadcast. The exhibition points out that journalists are torn between several roles, which they endorse sometimes in spite of themselves.

From the close-ups on their concentrated and tense faces primarily emerge the emotion and anxiety of the first witnesses of the tragedy, to which Frank Schramm also belonged: ‘The camera was probably a way to overcome my emotion’, he explained. Journalists are primarily spectators in the front row, facing the shock of the attacks, they had to, like the rest of the world, try to assimilate. But the heavily made-up faces, the final touches of make-up before going live, the artificial lighting and the makeshift podiums remind us that the immense media coverage of this tragedy was also a blessing for some professional reporters as well as an economic opportunity for all the media. Most newspapers indeed doubled their circulation in the days following September 11th.

The exhibition Stand-ups - Reporting Live from Ground Zero by Frank Schramm gives the Musée de l’Elysée the opportunity of a new collaboration with the Pôle de Recherche National en Sciences Affectives  (National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) for the Affective Sciences) of the University of Geneva. Known internationally, this centre is the first national research body in the world dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of emotions and their effects on human behaviour and society. In a 24-page publication, issued for the exhibition and distributed free to visitors, the researchers of this centre deliver their analysis of the images of Frank Schramm through various emotions. Specialists in fields as diverse as psychology, neurobiology and philosophy bring a new dimension to these images particularly charged with emotion and history.