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Richard Misrach: Violent Legacies

In Violent Legacies the acclaimed photographer Richard Misrach compiles three “cantos” in his ongoing series of photographs exploring the desert of the American West. The desert has long been a metaphor in Misrach’s art. Here, this barren land, so often romanticized, undergoes an eerie transformation at the hands of man and becomes an unmistakable reflection of militarism, violence, and environmental destruction. Misrach’s political commitment and activism—filtered through an ironic counterposing of form and content, as well as his exquisite use of color and composition—have never been as powerfully articulated as in these three new cantos, which are centered around the Utah deadlands and a former nuclear test site in Nevada. The late Susan Sontag contributes a subtle yet probing allegorical meditation on violence in contemporary society, and in a postscript interview, Misrach provides background information about the photographed sites.—the publisher