Found Photos in Detroit

Arianna Arcara, Luca Santese


Edition : First / Vall Tidone / Cesura Publish / 2012 / Hardcover. / Fine
Oblong Folio, 80pp. Boards as issued. 167 Colour plates. Still sealed.

Cited in Parr/Badger vol.3. Collected, edited and designed by Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese. Polaroids, letters, prints of photographic evidence, police documents, mugshots and family albums. More than the usual Detroit ruin porn- Arcana and Santese’s project is in the words of parr/badger ‘…a particular selection. There are the usual family portraits and snapshots, but the majority of the images come from another source: photographs of crime scenes, victims, criminals presumably from an abandoned police station. This throws up an issue similar to that raised by Joachim Schmid’s LA Women. What is the context for showing this imagery? Does it make a socio-political point about Detroit or about society in general? Furthermore, many of the images are distressed, although whether by happenstance or by the photographers themselves it is difficult to say – but certainly this is a calculatedly artful book, and the questions must be asked. And yet Found Photos in Detroit is a powerful testament to the ability of photography to stick in the mind and move us when it is illustrating the passing of time and lived lives, especially live in jeopardy, as many of those shown to be. Found Photos in Detroit is less about Detroit than about lost memories, and the medium’s intense, eternal melancholy.”