This week marks the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Photographer Richard Misrach went to New Orleans armed with his 4 MP pocket camera to chronicle the after effects of the hurricane. What resulted is a haunting collection of images illustrating the lives and experiences of the people of a community left to fend itself published in the book Destroy This Memory. The images were created between October and December 2005.
Misrach also conceived an exhibition of these photographs to be presented at five major museums across the country. The five participating museums to whom Misrach donated this extraordinary group of images are the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Two of the shows will open to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Museum of Art presents: Untitled [New Orleans and the Gulf Coast 2005] from August 28 through October 24, 2010. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Richard Misrach: Katrina from August 7 through October 31, 2010.
You can purchase the book directly from the Aperture Foundation.
Here is a description of the book directly from the Exposures Blog.
Richard Misrach's Destroy This Memory is an affecting reminder of the physical and psychological impact of Hurricane Katrina. Rather than simply surveying the damage, Misrach—who has photographed the region regularly since the 1970s, most notably for his ongoing Cancer Alley project—found himself drawn to the hurricane-inspired graffiti: messages scrawled in spray paint, crayons, chalk, or whatever materials happened to be on hand. At turns threatening, desperate, clinical, and even darkly humorous, the phrases he captured—the only text that appears in the book—offer unique and revealing human perspectives on the devastation and shock left in the wake of this disaster.
Artist's royalties for this project are being donated to the Make It Right Foundation, which is currently rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
Richard Misrach (born in Los Angeles, 1949) is credited with helping pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation in the 1970s. He has exhibited extensively, and his work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship. Misrach is represented by Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco; Pace-MacGill Gallery, New York; and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles. He lives in Berkeley, California.