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Robert Polidori: After the Flood [Hardcover]

By Robert Polidori (Photographer)
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Item description for Robert Polidori: After the Flood by Robert Polidori...

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 Ithe 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.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   333
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 12" Height: 15.5"
Weight:   9.7 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 15, 2006
Publisher   Steidl
ISBN  3865212778  
ISBN13  9783865212771  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert Polidori

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Polidori, born in Montreal in 1951, lives in New York. Polidori is an aesthete of built space; his photographs totally redefine the photography of architecture. Exceptional city portraits capture places almost lost from view and lend them a captivating, melancholy magic that makes Polidori's pictures utterly original. His works has been exhibited in Paris, Brasilia, New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker-and has been featured in Geo and Architectural Digest Germany. Mr. Polidori has received numerous honours, including a World Press Award and two Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards-one of them for the work in Havana.

Robert Polidori currently resides in New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Nature & Wildlife
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Portraits
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Travel > United States > South
6Books > Subjects > Science > Earth Sciences > Hurricanes
7Books > Subjects > Travel > United States > States > Louisiana > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Robert Polidori: After the Flood?

Awesome But Errie Pictures!  Jan 18, 2008
I purchased this book for my husband for Christmas. He grew up in the 9th Ward. This book of pictures captures the essence of the damage in the New Orleans area caused by the flood following Hurricane Katrina. The pictures are so real that you can just feel the erriness they capture.They make me think of haunted houses from a movie. But they are real. Real peoples lives and homes.
Katrina as Art  Mar 13, 2007
Silt has rendered a wonderous, pale beauty to the interior carnage of New Orlean's homes. Polidoris's project, a subsequentc 'invasion' of these domains, places on public record their devastation. It's a case of supreme technical skill, enshrining an ephemeral disaster. The denizens have hastily evacuated, leaving Polidori to rut in the trough of the city's ruin. Here, in one haunting page after another, the tidal muds that have rudely piled cars beneath houses in tragically asymmetrical congress, are made warm and close. It's relentless. You can almost handle the poignant detritus. We're led first through the haunting streets of uprooted poles, trees and weathereboards, of twisted metal. Then the rooms, the hearts and minds of individual suffering. Not snap-happy journalistic sensationalism, but hypnotically constructed images whose frozen testimonies have more permanence than the rented edifices they record. Polidori knows where to stand amidst the wreckage: his camera an unerring eye delving near and distantly with disturbing clarity. It is the very silence that entrances with singular eloquence and gravity. The wind and tide have subsided, but the havock endures in sulphurous washes and surreal configuration which 1000 installation artists would greet as a great funereal statement that transcends collective imagination. In a word, awesome, the currency of the Sublime. Polidori has wrested art from tragedy. Any of its 200 plus large format pages can be poured over for aesthetic reward, the more to dwell on vagabond Nature. Brilliant!
Photography as a "process of revelation"  Feb 8, 2007
"After the Flood", the latest book by French Canadian Photographer, Robert Polidori, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is also his largest and most powerful. It is as if his books on Havana and Chernobyl were mere foretastes to this exceptional and moving work, and certainly anyone who has seen these two books came away with a feeling of the power and storytelling that Polidori's images can convey. Polidori has the gift of the detailed eye that can simultaneously give the viewer images of beauty and revulsion in objects and textures. These alone tell the stories. There are no images of people necessary. It is as if he is capturing the tracks and shadows that humanity has left behind. He was able to show this in the urban decay of Havana and of the horrors of the rapid evacuation and subsequent reclamation of nature in Chernobyl. In "After the Flood", he presents us with an almost encyclopedic presentation of the aftermath of the hurricane, flooding, wind, water and mud damage showing the fragility of our cities and the power of nature.

The book contains at least 400 images, which have been carefully arranged. The first images show parts of the city still under water and the receding water. The next group shows the destruction caused by water inside the houses. Furniture has been picked up by the flood and re-arranged and we see the effects of water on different materials and soon notice the tell-tale brown lines on the walls, sometimes over six feet high, showing the high water mark. Succeeding groups of images show the effects of mud, water and wind on buildings and cars that have been tossed around at random like toys. Sometimes cars rest against houses in bizarre angles and sometimes the houses are laying on top of the cars. Several pages show smaller images of streets where every house was damaged and abandoned. The last set of images shows the clean up. Mounds of refuse in front of houses, temporary trailers, houses being cleaned and repaired. The effect is very powerful as we see how the lives of hundreds of thousands were affected and how many must have lost everything.

The book can only give a taste of the incredible detail the images contain. In a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art they could be seen as the original prints, each at about 40" by 54". They were taken with a large camera and according to Polidori with no lighting, as there was no electricity available at the time the shots were taken and lighting would have been to cumbersome in cramped and sometimes dangerous conditions. Only time exposures could show the incredible detail, which Polidori refers to as the "process of revelation". He call his work "a constant learning process", and anyone who looks at this book will not only learn, but will also ask questions as to how a disaster of this magnitude was possible, and to our place on this earth and our future here.

Review by Walter O. Koenig

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