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One If By land, Two If By Sea. Protest Photography Again, Richard Misrach

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Earlier this month, I posted an article with four photographs taken by Richard Misrach.  The article is hereThree of the photographs were of desert borderlands becoming deserts, and one was of a developmental road in a semi-desert.  The photographs were from a series Misrach named simply "Battleground Points" in his book Desert Cantos.  The battleground Misrach referred to was, and is, the slow desertification of many non-desert and semi-desert areas throughout the world.  Misrach's photographs are beautiful, but they also protest this process of human-caused encroachment on a scarce and beautiful environmental resource, the existing desert borderlands.   

It has been estimated that if the desertification trends continue unabated in Nebraska and Kansas for fifty more years, those states will resemble the Sahara Desert of northern Africa.  

There follow three more of Richard Misrach's photographs.  The first is of wildfire in a semi-desert area.  The second and third are pictures of the Salton Sea in California, where the present human interface with the sea is clearly identifiable, extruding from floodwaters of that inland sea and adjacent to it.


Desert Fire #249 (1985)




Habitations, Salton Sea, California (1983)




Diving Board, Salton Sea, California (1983)




(Courtesy of Richard Misrach, Fraenkel Gallery, Pace/MacGill Gallery, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, and artnet and its Artist Works Catalogues.  At its AWC, artnet states: "artnet offers these catalogues free to the public as an educational resource. Simply click on an individual artist's image to begin, and check back often to browse new catalogues.")  


I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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