Gerhard Richter’s September and the politics of ambivalence

Mafalda Dâmaso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The 9/11 attacks renewed the pertinence of traditional discussions regarding the representation of terror but also those surrounding issues of mediation. Famously among the multiple aesthetic responses to this event is a painting by the German Gerhard Richter titled September (2005). Seemingly abstract, a close engagement with the painting reveals the depiction of the second plane as it hits the south tower. This essay proposes that the abstraction, the ambiguity of September (to use Robert Storr’s terminology), provides an opportunity for the viewers to consider 9/11 not merely as a terrorist attack, but also as a political act that is framed by a long history of economic and cultural exchanges.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTerror in Global Narrative
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentations of 9/11 in the Age of Late-Late Capitalism
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319406541
ISBN (Print)9783319406534
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

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