Binding : Hardcover
Pages : 336
Publication Date : 11/15/2006
Condition : BRAND NEW
In late September 2005, Robert Polidori traveled to New Orleans to record the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and by the city's broken levees. He found the streets deserted, and, without electricity, eerily dark. The next day he began to photograph, house by house: "All the places I went in, the doors were just open. They had been opened by what I collectively call Îthe army,' of maybe 20 National Guards from New Hampshire, 15 policemen from Minneapolis, 20 firefighters from New York... On maybe half of them or a third of them that I went in, I think that the occupants had been there prior. And some of them did leave certain funeral-like mementos before they left. Maybe right after the waters receded they had the chance to just--to go back to their place and just see, and realize there's nothing worth saving." Amidst all this, Polidori has found something worth saving, has created mementos for those who could not return, documenting the paradoxically beautiful wreckage. In classical terms, he has found ruins. The abandoned houses he recorded were still waterlogged as he entered and as he learned (by trial and error, a process that including finding a dead body) the language of signs and codes in which rescue workers had spray-painted each house's siding. He sees the resulting photographs as the work of a psychological witness, mapping the lives of the absent and deceased through what remains of their belongings and their homes. From Publishers Weekly With only a brief introduction, photographer Polidori plunges the reader into hurricane Katrina's wake of destruction across the Gulf coast. Oversize photos capture the stark reality: whole neighborhoods under water and later in shambles, and close-ups of sodden bedrooms, mud-scoured kitchens and painterly mold spores. As the more than 500 photos taken between September 2005 and April 2006 progress, destruction eventually gives way to temporary trailers, which appear next to the rubble. The poignant absence of humans and short captions give the collection a powerful austerity, though some viewers may find it relentlessly clinical. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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