Petrochemical America: Project Room
August 25 - October 6, 2012
Photographs by Richard Misrach
Throughlines by Kate Orff/SCAPE
Petrochemical America represents a unique collaboration between photographer Richard Misrach and landscape architect Kate Orff. It brings into focus the industrialized landscape of the Mississippi River Corridor that stretches from Baton Rouge to New Orleans – a place that first garnered attention as “Cancer Alley” because of unusually high reports of cancer and other diseases in the area. The Project Room exhibition reveals traces of their collaborative process and features Misrach’s haunting photographs of the region and Orff’s Ecological Atlas, a series of visual narratives, or “throughlines.” The dialogue between photograph and drawing begins to unpack complex economic and ecological forces that have shaped this landscape, mapping cycles of extraction and transformation from the scale of the neighborhood, to the region, to the globe. Ultimately, this joint enterprise offers an expansion of both disciplines and a richly researched and concretely visualized study of the petrochemical industry and American culture, which has become intricately intertwined with its output.