Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Anderson Documents New Orleans in One One Thousand
One One Thousand is continuing its series featuring photographers coming to terms with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, this time with a portfolio of images called One Block by Little Rock, Arkansas photographer Dave Anderson.
Anderson's portfolio is the result of his photographing in a single block of the Holy Cross section of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward repeatedly over a period of two and a half years.
Anderson says his goal with this series was to learn, post-Katrina,"to follow both the obvious physical rebuilding of the homes as well as the evolving psychological state of the residents."
His central question in his work was posed in response to a comment by a resident of the city, who said, "You just wanna be home." Anderson wondered, "Doesn't everyone? Would they ever be? Would that thing, whatever it was, that was so uniquely New Orleans return, dissipate or transform into something completely different?
"And what about the thousands of small communities that existed within the city — would they survive, or even flourish? What was lost was clear, but what could be recovered was not at all clear."
What is clear is that Anderson offers us in this portfolio a set of strong, haunting, even haunted images. The people in them seem themselves to be haunted, by what they have been through, by what has been lost, perhaps by the struggle already required to regain a small semblance of order, of balance, of a future to look forward to.
These folks have earned our honor and respect, and Anderson's work deserves our thoughtful attention.