In 2010, Philip Brou was awarded a Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission in order to move forward on a project relating to a hotel room in Portland. In Philip’s own words:
“On September 10, 2001, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari drove a rented car from Boston, Massachusetts, to South Portland, Maine. The next morning they flew out of the Portland International Jetport and launched a series of devastating attacks that shook our world.
I located the hotel and room, room 233, where Atta and al-Omari stayed in South Portland. The hotel is near my home. I pass it every time I drive to the grocery store. I contacted the hotel’s manager and reserved the room.
The project funded by a Good Idea Grant and included in the Portland Museum of Art’s (PMA) Biennial is a culmination of my research into room 233, the room where Atta and al-Omari spent their final night. I view this project as a record of facts, similar to the flight data recorder –the black box- that is always running while a plane is in flight.”
Philip’s project received the "Purchase Award," (meaning that the museum is purchasing the project for its permanent collection) at PMA’s Biennial.
Furthermore, the project was recently selected to be shown at MECA's Institute of Contemporary Art in the fall. In addition to the pieces included in the biennial, Philip will be showing several paintings related to room 233. His work will be exhibited alongside that of Johan Grimonprez's internationally acclaimed film essay "Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y."