Playground and Shell Refinery, Norco, Louisiana


Richard Misrach (American, born 1949)


1998, printed 2012


Pigmented inkjet print


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Commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund

Accession #


On View

Currently not on view

“This basketball court is surrounded by an African-American community on one side and the sprawling Shell refinery on the other. Noise and gasoline stench permeate the area. According to a 1993 study, two hundred thousand pounds of carcinogens were emitted into the air that year. The basketball court is all that remains of an all-black elementary school. In 1968, on the eve of the school’s integration through federally court-ordered bussing of the area’s white children, it was burned to the ground and never rebuilt. In 2002, Shell, prompted by decades of complaints and lawsuits, was forced to relocate most of the residents.” – Richard Misrach

Image Copyright

© 1998 Richard Misrach / Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, Pace-MacGill Gallery and Marc Selwyn Fine Arts.