Requiem for the Innocent: El Paso and Beyond

Requiem for the Innocent: El Paso and Beyond addresses the tragedy of the mass shooting at the Walmart in El Paso on August 3, 2019 in which twenty-three people were killed. The goal is to create several distinct iterations of this creative work: a book, a limited edition set of fine art prints, a traveling gallery exhibition, concerts, and a film.

The book, Requiem for the Innocent: El Paso and Beyond, was published by GFT Books, the fine art imprint of UA’s Publisher in Residence George Thompson, and features alternating pages of Willis’s photographs and Behn’s text with a link to Rubinstein’s music. A collector’s limited edition of boxed fine art prints with text is also available. 

The exhibition has been shown at Gallery Kayafas in Boston, September 4th – October 25, 2020, and is scheduled for the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Spring 2021. It consists of twenty-three of Willis’s photographs of the spontaneous memorials that arose in the wake of the shooting, a soundscape of Rubinstein’s “microrequiems” emanating from twenty-three small speakers mounted between the photographs, and projection of the animated, looping text by Behn. The group is considering creating live performances inside galleries in which Rubinstein’s quartet would perform the music live, along with community engagement through lectures and discussion about mass shooting in the U.S. In addition to seeking more places to exhibit and perform the work, the group is making a film version of the project in collaboration with filmmaker Brad Heck of Guilford VT. The film will be used to promote the exhibition to additional galleries and as an artform in and of itself.


Robin Behn, CARI Faculty Fellow and Professor of English

John Willis, Professor of Photography at Rhode Island School of Design

Matan Rubinstein, Associate Professor of Music and Sound Studies at Emerson College