Harlem on the Verge.
Photographs by Alice Attie. Introduction by Robin D. G. Kelley.
Quantuck Lane Press, New York, 2003. 128 pp., numerous color illustrations, 10¼x11¼".
Attie explores the changing cultural identity of Harlem through documenting how consumerism and corporate enterprises continue to tranform the community; her first portrait is of a stately man in front of a Starbucks store. Such a project has the potential to be nostalgic and judgemental, but Attie's distant yet lyric approach lends a certain dignity and overall optimism to the work. Beyond a keen eye for commercialism and an editorialized form of portraiture, Attie possesses a gift for creating a compelling visual dialogue through her use of color, informal composition and dead-on juxtaposition of words, The photographs here are as beautiful as they are intelligent and complex.
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