Santa Barbara save US by Alejandro Cartagena. Published by Skinnerboox, 2020
“Alejandro’s pictures in this project, since the beginning, have channeled that fear of fire, the engulfing heat, the insatiable flames, devouring everyone and everything, leaving charred scars behind…So what now? If Alejandro can see the future? How is this book, the last in the trilogy, different and new? Well, it’s confident in its bleak outlook. All jangled cuts and charged-up juxtapositions. Nothing friendly emerges, nowhere calm to rest your weary nerves. But then something fresh arrives. It looks like military. Or NASA. Maybe a nuclear facility? Recurring, in black and white.
What does it mean?
We see control rooms, and the back of video monitors. Ominous names like flamebucket.
Finally, near the end of the book, there’s “missile power” and a rocket launch pad as well.
Missles. Rockets. Nukes.”
From the text for Santa Barbara save US by Jonathan Blaustein
Alejandro’s second volume, Santa Barbara Shame on US of the Santa Barbara series is a continuation, not a re-mix of the first edition published last year. It is solid. It implies horror and the crumbling cake of Americana, but does so in a way that completely absolves my worry upon publishing that it would be a weaker “leftover” book. I prefer it to the first, but hold both in high esteem. Brad Feuerhelm for Photobookstore books of 2017