“Photographs act as vehicles of litigation against the slippage of the tightly bound spool of memory,” writes Garry Reece, in an essay that concludes Beautiful, Still. (2022, Mack Books), a monograph by photographer Colby Deal documenting the Third Ward neighborhood of Houston, where Deal grew up, and where his grandmother continues to live today. He began photographing Third Ward in 2013, returning repeatedly to reinforce his relationship with the community as reciprocal, longstanding, and sincere.
The result is a series of untitled images that sometimes capture very little on an individual basis, but an entire world when taken in aggregate — as seems to be Deal’s intention, presenting them without any further context, besides Reece’s essay as epilogue and an opening poem by Hakim Furious.
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(Image by Colby Deal, courtesy Mack Books)