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Richard Misrach: Destroy This Memory Hardcover – September 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"Haunting is one way to describe page-after-page of what appear to be messages from ghosts. But the captionless images are also downright sad, infuriating - in some cases, darkly humorous." --NPR's The Picture Show, Claire O'Neill, 17-Aug-10

"'Destroy This Memory' is a raw testament, shot between October and December 2005, just after the waters began to recede but the emotions had certainly not. Without captions or contextual introduction to detract from the potency of the photographs themselves, the book is a powerful document allowing survivors to speak eloquently for themselves - even in absentia. New Orleans, its essence, doesn't just permeate these images; it's a force that's palpable and fully present tense." --Los Angeles Times, Lynell George, 5-Sept-10

"Richard Misrach's new Destroy This Memory...will ruin your day and it will make it better. It demonstrates that post-Katrina books and photographic projects should not be lumped together as one thing. Consider Misrach's book an affirmation that artists can bring strikingly different, equally valuable points-of-view to the same subject and that their contributions to story-telling and creating our collective memory are every bit as valuable as journalism or oral history.", Tyler Green, 8-Sept-10

"Among the many documentary records of Katrina's devastation, Misrach's images form a distinct and provocative subcategory...The photos--which are entirely devoid of people--don't just provide the now-familiar account of ruined homes and strewn debris, but also give pungent, poetic voice to the absent inhabitants." --Book Forum, Albert Mobilio, Sept/Oct/Nov-10

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture; 1st edition, edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111638
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 12 x 15.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Dawson on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a Richard Misrach fan for some time now, ever since he had an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston about ten years ago. In that exhibit, Misrach's large-format photographs were stunning. This collection of photographs from New Orleans also was exhibited in Houston, and, unlike his previous work, these photographs are relatively small in size. In fact, the reproductions in this book are not much smaller than the actual photographs themselves. With this book, you can take your time appreciating these photographs in the comfort of your home, knowing that the experience is just as good as seeing the work in a museum. The book is a high-quality construction, and the photographs are reproduced with good color and clarity. I would've appreciated more editorial content in the book, but that's a small complaint.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Buffy on November 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful, large format book from Richard Misrach. If you are familiar with Misrach's previous work this group of photos is a bit of a surprise as they are all urban landscapes that feel more at home with Soth or Shore. There are no wide landscapes or seascapes. These photos capture houses and buildings in the wake of hurricane Katrina with messages left behind. Great images, but it will be interesting to see if this is Misrach's new direction or a one-off project (I suspect the latter). The production values are all excellent. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wonder why this book has so few reviews being such a wonderful book. This book does not certainly contain beautiful pictures of beautiful places. It does contain beautiful pictures, but the places and things photographed are not beautiful at all by itself. Not a person in the book. Not a word in the book, save for the credits. Then, what's going on?

Misrach photographed places and things devastated by Katrina, along with very powerful graffitis. The secret lies in that Misrach shows us the human soul naked, at it most, using a particular technic: photography. Love and Death (Eros and Tanatos in Freud's words). Misrach show us how miserable and merciless can be the human being, as well how much can we love. And, last but not least, shows us the incredible importance of the written language, as well as the humour we can have despite grave circumstances.

Misrach saw something that moved his soul, hold his camera and took the picture. Once and again, thousands of times, for days. Each photograph represents an emotion or experience Misrach had at Orleans. And that is what a good photographer does: transmit an emotion or experience, and it does not matter if the object is beautiful or not. And he did the job with photographic style. Better style? No way.

So, no introduction, no prologue, no texts, no epilog, not even titles in the photographs. Just photographs to reveal our most inner love and misery.
Composition? Flawless. Quality? Better impossible, in the account that all photos taken with a 4mp compact camera. The book itself? Five stars well deserved.

I enjoy this book a lot. It's beautiful in a very special way. But mainly this book will always remind me how cruel can we be as human beings. And I, as a teacher, as a lawyer and as an amateur photographer, need not to forget this lesson.
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By Peter Baer on November 17, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very touching and dramatic pictures of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
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