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Richard Misrach: Destroy This Memory Hardcover – September 30, 2010
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"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." --ARTINFO.com, 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
About the Author
Richard Misrach is one of the most influential photographers of his generation, well-known for his ongoing project Desert Cantos. His work is held by major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography. His books with Aperture include Violent Legacies (1992), On the Beach (2007), Destroy This Memory (2010), Petrochemical America (with Kate Orff, 2012), Golden Gate (2012), The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings (2015), and Border Cantos (with Guillermo Galindo, 2016).
Top customer reviews
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.