Column

1 Image 1 Minute

Bartholomew Cooke, Jon Wasserman, Elizabeth Tremante
Organized by Micol Hebron
Flip Schulke, "Hurricane Carla in Texas," 1961

Flip Schulke, Hurricane Carla in Texas, 1961

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, I find this image interesting because of it’s paradoxical quality. In some ways it is a calm image, with its steadfast concrete anchor on the left and the ridged verticals of the light post and stoplight. The storm itself appears only as a nebulous white fog. Yet chaos is also present in the mass of lumber sprawled across the road by the violence of the storm. This wreckage contains a dichotomy of its own. While visually a complex jumble, the heap of lumber also symbolizes the power of the hurricane to obliterate, level, simplify; the storm has separated a structure into the most basic elements of its construction. The hurricane has also reduced the only person in the scene to an elemental state of being. Standing alone amongst the vestiges of a civilization rendered irrelevant and impotent by the storm, he succumbs to the basic emotions of fear and despair.

Bartholomew Cooke, Photographer

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