Richard Misrach & Kate Orff, Petrochemical America, 2013. Favorite
The limited-edition box set of Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America pairs the award-winning book with a photographic print by Misrach and a drawing by Orff. Misrach’s image of a shopping cart abandoned in the middle of a vast parking lot subtly weaves together themes explored throughout the book. The plastic of the shopping cart is made of petroleum, as is the expanse of asphalt, which is petroleum in a sticky, black, viscous form. The haze enveloping the streetlamps calls to mind the pollutants hanging in the air throughout Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.” In Orff’s drawing, a modified version of a map of the region, the chemical names of pollutants and the logos of multination corporations cluster around an inky black ribbon signifying both Mississippi River and the contaminated state in which it finds itself.
The cloth folio and box were crafted by John DeMerritt Bookbinding in Emmeryville, California. Each folio encompassing the book is stamped with an ironic reinterpretation of the classic image of evolution, which features increasingly erect species of humans. Here the spectrum of evolution ranges from a giant mammoth to the plastic shopping cart.
Medium: Limited-Edition book with two pigment ink prints presented in a clothbound folio with slipcase
Edition of 100 and 10 artist's proofs
Paper Size: 10 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
Signed and numbered by artists
This limited edition box-set is available at Aperture here