"All I wanted to do was record how all those poor people adapted to lies and suffering"
May 18, 2005 12:49 PM   Subscribe

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell". Photographer Antonin Kratochvil's new book, "Vanishing" is a collection of 16 photo essays taken over 16 years by one of the world's most acclaimed photojournalists. It is a tour through endangered life forms and ruined environments, human catastrophes and destruction -- resulting in vanishing cultures. "Vanishing speaks on behalf of life, despite man's ever-threatening presence. This body of work offers nothing in the way of answers, neither is it a sermon in hopes of brighter days
posted by matteo (13 comments total)
i like the work, but that itself is a problem...Once things are removed into photos (with all their attendant cropping, finishing, etc) they're not urgent and become aesthetic things--to look at. He's showing us stuff, but what does he want?
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on May 18, 2005

(it's also that the people in the shots aren't really reacting to the environments so much as simply living in them, like we do--a testament to our adaptability--i actually take away a positive message, but i'm not sure i'm intended to)
posted by amberglow at 2:31 PM on May 18, 2005

Maybe this world is another planet's heaven?

It's sure got to be better than Pluto. Then again, it is a lot hotter.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:56 PM on May 18, 2005

i don't know amberglow, where you see adaptability, I see dehumanization and apathy...not good old american 'view-from-afar' apathy either...scary,'frog-in-boiling-water' apathy. i really don't like the idea that people can live in those situations. and i suppose me being disturbed is what the artist intended.
posted by es_de_bah at 2:57 PM on May 18, 2005

come to think of it, mrgrimm, wasn't the whole heaven's gate crew headed for pluto?
posted by es_de_bah at 2:59 PM on May 18, 2005

(i don't know--maybe i'm just in an optimistic mood?) It's that the people are reacting to the environments they're in so much, but are just living, i think.
posted by amberglow at 3:03 PM on May 18, 2005

that the people aren't reacting...
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on May 18, 2005

Just because you're floating on the surface doesn't mean you haven't drowned yet.
posted by perianwyr at 3:22 PM on May 18, 2005

but that's true for all of us, no matter where we are.
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on May 18, 2005

Maybe this planet IS another world's heaven, mrgrimm...
posted by nanojath at 6:11 PM on May 18, 2005

Also, 21 pages of Kratochvil images here, unfortunately presented without context, but still fascinating. You might even glimpse a famous face or two.

Thanks, matteo!
posted by taz at 2:11 AM on May 19, 2005

I'm endlessly fascinated by the images of collapsing societies. It also terrifies me to see how much some of them look like parts of my own hometown.

I don't have much to add, other than this is good.

I only wish that the images were larger, on many it was tough to really make out what they were.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:39 AM on May 19, 2005

I refuse to give up.
posted by troutfishing at 8:24 PM on May 19, 2005

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