The Disaster as Fine Art As Cliche (revisited)


General Photography

I’ve talked about this earlier, but the topic is just not going away. On the contrary, as there is more and more photography from New Orleans emerging, it seems to me that the aftermath (or maybe more accurately aftermess) of Hurricane Katrina is slowly turning into a photographic cliché. I have the feeling that - for a large variety of reasons - that’s the last thing anyone needs (least of all those people in New Orleans whose houses are still in ruins and many of which have been permanently displaced). It would be unfair to single out anyone’s work, because on its own, most of the photographic work I’ve seen is quite amazing (and actually provides a very interesting example of how fine-art photography can supplement standard photojournalism, which - in part - has long turned ago into a cliché producing machinery itself); but the cumulative effect of looking at beautifully shot photos of destroyed houses, exterior and interior, and everything else that goes with it is making me feel a bit uneasy.