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Enigmatic Stream

Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River
Richard Sexton

BUY Paper · 144 pp. · 9 × 12.5 · ISBN 9780917860751 · $40.00 · Oct 2019

As it churns toward its terminus in southeastern Louisiana, the Mississippi River becomes a wide, muddy superhighway of activity, matched in might only by the megastructures of heavy industry that line its banks. The section of the river from Baton Rouge to New Orleans doubles as one of the most potent economic corridors in the country.

For two decades, photographer Richard Sexton has explored this complicated region. Intrigued by juxtapositions between innovation and decay, the commercial and the residential, the manmade and the natural, he has documented a quintessentially American conundrum: the insatiable desire to exploit the lower Mississippi River’s potential while still leaving room for life along its banks. The photography in this book eloquently captures the contrasting qualities of these landscapes. Essays from Paul Schneider, author of numerous natural history books, and photographic historian John H. Lawrence offer background on the subject matter and techniques in Sexton’s images. Together, these essays illustrate the many shades of this enigmatic stream.


"Without judgment of the industrial present or nostalgia for a preindustrial past, Sexton’s photographs capture a multitude of rich and fraught histories that have shaped this distinctive region of Louisiana."

Jordana Pomeroy, Director, Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum

About the Author(s): 

Richard Sexton’s photographs have appeared in Abitare, Photographer’s Forum, and View Camera magazines. He is the author of Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere.

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