Blood in the Water: A Katrina Remembrance (Sep 18 - Oct 9)

Blood in the Water: A Katrina Remembrance (Sep 18 - Oct 9)

Soon after Hurricane Katrina, UCI Professor of English Jonathan Alexander and photojournalist John Hughes traveled to the devastated Mississippi Gulf Coast with the goal of creating a joint literary and visual record of the aftermath. Professor Alexander has curated the photographs taken by Hughes in commemoration of the tenth year of Katrina. The exhibit was held in the Viewpoint Gallery, inside the Student Center, next to the Crystal Cove auditorium.

In one photo, Professor Alexander peers through a glass café door. People otherwise tend to appear absent in the photographs, in which suburban neighborhoods and beaches seem almost eerie from the echoes of human inhabitance. A flame-hooded car belonging to some adventurous individual slumps on a scalped lawn next to a naked tree, its front window shattered by debris and its bold personality subsumed by the dry, somber mood of the overall picture. In another photo, the upper level of a two-story home dips towards the ground. Four twisted wheels protrude from the rubble like broken feet on an animal that can’t get off its back. Then there hangs the picture of a Christmas tree on a beach, with the shambled remains of a house scattered on the sand like rocks, the nature-brought destruction at harmony with the natural landscape. Yet a spark of humor winks through the splinters in the form of a smiley face drawn into the zero of a price tacked onto a real estate sign. Hope could still be unearthed from the wreckage.

The show opened on September 18 and ran through October 9.

Review written by undergraduate Isis Huang.