“The sadness will last forever.”
The last words of Vincent Van Gogh float through my mind as I crack the spine of Destroy This Memory (Aperture). It’s entirely too much, and yet, not nearly enough, but if photographs may be an elegy, Richard Misrach has produced one of the most haunting poems for the dead and gone, the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Eleven years ago today, Katrina began as an interaction between a tropical wave and a tropical cyclone in the Bahamas. It quickly intensified into a Tropical Storm and made its way westward, gaining strength over the Gulf of Mexico. On August 29, it touched down in southeast Louisiana, becoming the most destructive natural disaster in United States history. Ranked one of the five most deadly hurricanes in the nation, with more than 1,800 dead, Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans.
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Photo: © Richard Misrach, courtesy of Aperture.