Item description for Robert Polidori: Havana by Elizabeth Culbert, Eduardo Luis Rodriguez, Robert Polidori & Gerhard Steidl...
Robert Polidori, often considered an architectural photographer, is in fact a photographer of habitat. On the surface his subjects are buildings, but at the core his lens is focused on the remnants and traces of living he finds scattered in hallways, left in back rooms and worn on facades. His spectacular color photographs are presented here in an appropriately oversized volume that capture both their monumentality and their attention to detail. Havana is a particularly rich setting for Polidori's inquiries. The curves and columns that line the streets refer to past eras and speak of the political, social, and economic forces that have driven the city to its present condition. Through his rigorous and sensitive examination - facilitated by a sense of color and composition that makes his photographs feel like vivid memories - Polidori delicately peels away the patina of daily living and reveals the juxtapositions that create a city's identity. His photographs define the idea of faded grandeur. In this city the peddler lives where the countess once resided; children dance and tumble where merchants conducted their business. Each photograph is a discovery and a fragment of the city's biography.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 11.75" Height: 14.75" Weight: 4.6 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2001
ISBN 3882433337 ISBN13 9783882433333
Availability 0 units.
More About Elizabeth Culbert, Eduardo Luis Rodriguez, Robert Polidori & Gerhard Steidl
Reviews - What do customers think about Robert Polidori: Havana?
Havana Daydreaming Apr 5, 2008
There are two principal cities in the world where time seems to stand still. One is Pripyat' Ukraine which was abandoned following the Chernobyl disaster in April, 198. In that unfortunate time literally all the people left within 24 hours. The other is Havana whose middle and upper classes departed over several decades following the Cuban Revolution mainly to live in the United States.
Unlike Pripyat' where vegetation and wildlife replaced human inhabitants, the City of Havana lives on despite its painful decay.
Robert Polidori's Havana depicts several days in the life of the city in the early years of the new century. Probably by chance, the period he photographed represented simultaneously the zenith and nadir of the Revolution. His camera details the architectural heritage of the colonial era set among the blockish facades of Socialist reality. Even as neglect defaces these urban jewels, a certain spirit shines through recalling a city whose exiles in Florida still yearn to return.
As we enter the last days of the Cuban experiment in our hemisphere, the Havana so lovingly pictured here will not endure. Buildings and homes will be restored naturally enough. But the spirit of the urban caretakers of this legacy might have been lost forever if not for Polidori's lens. This is an amazing and dreamy work that belongs to a city and people whose heritage stayed behind.
A Masterful Eye and an Appreciation of Decay May 14, 2007
Polidori's work is not just about the places he photographs. This book is something to recommend to people with no understanding of Havana or it's history as well as those that do know the city. He has captured an eerie world, ghostly and abandoned, yet clinging to life. It's a dark tropical dream. If you find peeling paint and dark hallways strangely inspiring, you will treasure this collection of work from a masterful photographer with a great appreciation for decay and its warmth as well as sadness. Look at these photographs and enjoy their mysteries.
One of the best picture books on Havana! Nov 3, 2006
Being Cuban American and having visited Havana numerous times as well as having the opportunity to actually see firsthand, many of these grand interiors Polidori so eloquently displays for all to page through and imagine the events that have transpired in these interiors. The joys, the struggles, the rise and fall of a culture with all it's social graces. This book captures what I captured with my own eyes passing through those marvelous mansions of Cuba's golden age. Havana is truly a Paris of the Caribbean, although decayed and damaged, she is still beautiful, graceful and inspirational to all who visit her. Thus the term "Havana-itis", a disease thought to befall visitors who fall instantly in love with the grand ole dame. I believe there is still hope for her to be restored to her rightful brilliance one day, If only the current government would allow it.
Robert Polidori: Havana Apr 11, 2003
Visceral images of a unique city, in which splendor and squalor are juxtaposed, and the past is suspended within the present, decaying yet enduring. Robert Polidori has captured the beauty and melancholy of Havana, gazing unflinchingly at the ruins and the people who inhabit them. When the boycott is finally lifted, all this will be swept away by a tide of new development, so try to see it now and use this wonderful book as an introduction and a lasting memento. (Michael Webb is the book reviewer for LA Architect magazine.)
spectacular photos Nov 12, 2002
These photos are breathtakingly spectacular. As soon as I saw this book, I had to buy it. It was the first time I'd ever seen anything that captures exactly what being in Cuba feels like: as if you were witnessing the beautiful ruins of a decaying Roman empire. It's the most spectacular, cinematic misery you could ever experience. And I'm glad that someone like Robert Polidori has captured it so faithfully before it all crumbles to the ground (or gets built over with hideous concrete Spanish hotels).