artist banner

Monika Bravo

September 10, 2001, uno nunca muere la víspera

My instincts told me that I still had the ability to create after all that had been destroyed. – Monika Bravo

Late at night on September 10, 2001, Monika Bravo packed a videotape she had recorded over the course of several hours that afternoon and evening and said goodnight to sculptor Michael Richards. Both were participants in the World Views program run by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council that provided artists with studio space on the 91st and 92nd floors of the North Tower. By the end of the following day, the Twin Towers had collapsed. She learned that Richards who had remained in the building overnight, was among the thousands missing. Many of Richard’s fellow artists attended a memorial service for him 10 days later.

Grief-stricken over the loss of her friend and their shared workspace, Bravo turned to her art. She edited her videotaped footage of thunderclouds, rain, and lightning, in honor of Richards, who had called her to the window to watch the dramatic weather on September 10, 2001. Her film titled in Spanish, Bravo’s native language, loosely translates into English as "You die on the day you are supposed to die." The title is a reference not only to the death of Michael Richards, but to her lifelong quest to understand the nature of death.

Monika Bravo portrait
Photograph by Juan Luque

Monika Bravo

American, b. 1964

Monika Bravo uses photography, video, sound, and digital technology to communicate emotional states. Her work explores concepts of time, space, and memory. Losing her father at age eight spurred Bravo to address questions of mortality and the afterlife in her work. A native of Bogota, Columbia, Bravo’s interest in the arts began when her mother gave her a camera at age nine. After studying fashion design in Rome and Paris in her teens, she returned to photography, first in London and later in New York. As Bravo expanded her practice to include video and multimedia work, she was awarded a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council-sponsored World Views residency on the North Tower’s 92nd floor in 2001.

Interview With the Artist