On this site: landscape in memoriam

Front Cover
Chronicle Books, 1996 - Photography - 112 pages
3 Reviews
In this sobering collection of photographs, Joel Sternfeld looks at fifty places where violence has stained the American landscape. Arriving long after news photographers have gone, he presents us with the landscape that is left behind, the ordinary site that remains after the tragedy. Free of the sensationalism of contemporary reporting, these unadorned images, and the brief text that accompanies them, have a surprising power, allowing us to contemplate the meaning of what has taken place, and what has been lost. In this work, one of the most acclaimed photographers of our time extends the documentary tradition, finding a way to visualize our beleaguered national sense, shaken by decades of violence. This groundbreaking work asks that we broaden our conventional definition of violence to include the consequences of corporate irresponsibility and governmental indifference. These picture stand as a heartfelt memorial. They mark sites that have become an indelible part of the American landscape. They ask us to stand on that difficult threshold between what has happened and what little remains; between what we know and what cannot be understood. This, too, is the American landscape.

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Review: On This Site

User Review  - Jill - Goodreads

I first saw this book as an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. Very interesting way of looking at violence in America. Read full review

Review: On This Site

User Review  - Diane - Goodreads

I loved this book. It's a photojournalist's documentation of photos taken at various important sites. I saw the exhibit many years ago at the Art Institute of Chicago and it was incredibly moving. The ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Joel Sternfeld was born in New York City in 1944. His photographs have been extensively exhibited, notably in Three Americans at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1984, and more recently in Stranger Passing at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and On This Site at The Art Institute of Chicago. Sternfeld's published work includes Walking the High Line, a series of photographs of the abandoned elevated railway in Manhattan's Chelsea district, and Treading on Kings, photographs of protesters at the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy.