Mitch Epstein

Le Monde, July 12, 2004

By Michel Guerrin

On July 8, 2004, Mitch Epstein offered up a great moment at the Arles Photography Festival. In a strong voice, he recounted the story of his father, a respected businessman from Massachusetts, whose fortunes sank when a building he owned burned down from arson and his furniture store was forced to liquidate. The form of Epstein's presentation - a mix of contemplative photographs, straightforward video, and words - was enthralling. This is how a banal family story becomes the moving portrait of a man and the epic symbol of an America going down.