Richard Misrach

In preparation of Assignment 4, my tutor suggested I should have a look at the work of Richard Misrach, who is an example of a photographer who shows human traces in landscapes in a very interesting and effective way. 

I checked out some of his work online and watched a few interviews on Youtube that I found particularly interesting. In his interview with Corbis, he talks about different projects and how he set about photographing them. It was really good for me to hear his workflow, also how he comes up with his ideas and combines how he is able to be inspired by one thing that leads to an other project and piece of work. He explained how 9/11 made an impact on him and that seeing some images from people jumping off the Twin Towers triggered him to photograph his 'On the Beach' series because it has the same notion of people being alone in their space, seemingly disconnected and isolated from time and other elements around them.

His other images on 'Cancer Alley' show landscapes that are very defined by pollution and human's impact on nature. The images themselves are stunning, which he also points out to be a very important aspect of his work, but besides that they really make you think about we are doing with our nature and how humanity is inflicting all this tragedy on themselves. He continues explaining how his project became a collaboration with a  landscape architect and how they together gave the images a much deeper level of understanding and tools for social change.

I'm very inspired to learn about these ways of working. I was quite struck when Richard Misrach said that he went to New York straight after 9/11, but didn't take any photographs, because 'That's not the way [he] works'. 

I'm eager to work on discovering my ways, my interests and really find my own voice in what I'm doing. Right now I feel like I have been drifting quite a bit. I know that is all part of the process, but Richard Misrach is such a good example of an artist who gives himself the freedom to be himself and does not let himself be swayed by things that should be done or photographs that should be taken.

CorbisContributor (2013) Corbis interviews Richard Misrach at 2013 LOOK3. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwXMAh3TssA (Accessed: 3 November 2015).