Hidden Alcatraz: The Fortress Revealed

Edited by Steve Fritz and Deborah Roundtree, foreword by Peter Coyote, intro. by John Martini, afterword by Thom Sempere. Univ. of California, $24.95 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-0-520-26084-9
"The Rock" is shrouded in mystery as well as fog, exacerbated by the fact that an accurate history remains elusive, as Martini outlines in this handsome book of photos. Coyote, involved in the Native American occupation of the island between 1969 and 1971, praises the "blend of subject and interpretation" inherent in these photos. Tourists navigate the "crumbling infrastructure," though few have had the access that the members of this PhotoAlliance project have. The project's blend of artistic vision, with contributors both amateur and distinguished, creates a diverse and dynamic perspective. Sempere and Fritz are disciples of the "documentary tradition," capturing desolate cells, haunting graffiti, and interiors flooded with natural light. Michel Venera's depiction is decidedly gothic, while Roundtree's patience and expertise yields ethereal beauty. Linda Hanson's ominous Bars, A Random Corridor, No Way Out; Even The Light Is Blocked resonates in both visual and narrative terms. Individual techniques and experiences on Alcatraz are integral to this cadaverous study, simultaneously supporting the art of photography and providing a new insight to this enigmatic American institution. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 119 pages - 978-0-520-26082-5
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