18 Photographs from New Orleans

Traveling photographer Santiago Mostyn -who we interviewed a while ago here- recently made his way back to New Orleans, motivated by a need to rediscover a place that had so much history seemingly ‘wiped clean’. While he was there he produced a new series of photographs, which he showcased along with his other work on Tiny Vices. Santiago sent us the complete set along with explanations of the thought process behind his images.

“The title is the description, which is the motivation:

18 Photographs from New Orleans.

When I go to an unfamiliar place, even for a second or third time, I try to go with nothing in mind. I’ll get to a city and walk around for hours with no intentions in particular, through neighborhoods I’ve been warned are uncomfortable. Eventually I’ll find myself talking with dogs, or facing a tree that looks like a Pollock painting, or on the receiving end of a proposition like this:

‘You taking pictures over here? What kind of pictures you taking?’
‘Just everything, people I meet, things I see.’
‘Let’s go by that fence and I’ll show you some things. How much money you got?’

And I’ll go for it. I’ll find a pair of eyes one night and follow them around, looking for an excuse, or push a new friend onto some rocks to make him look like an angel. In the end the images that come out of this process start to read as symbols, which are the groundwork for myths. And in New Orleans, a place wiped clean, a place of curtailed histories - of flood waters and religion and race - this myth-making feels like a necessity. It’s as if we need to see this thing in our own way to make it’s history ours again.”


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