The Danse Macabre
Celebration and Survival in New Orleans
288 Pages / 9.50 x 10.00 in / 311 color images
- Paperback /
- 9780807180990 /
- Published: February 2024
New Orleans is a city of contradictions: comic and tragic, sacred and secular, profound and profane; steeped heavily in tradition and religion yet drenched in decadence and debauchery. The Danse Macabre reveals the city’s rebellious and humorous spirit, which celebrates life in the face of disaster and death.
In this street-level tableau of New Orleans culture, photographer Cheryl Gerber portrays the city’s rich and famous while paying homage to the everyday people who make life so special in her hometown. Colorful shots of Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, second lines, and other iconic arrays of New Orleans culture are juxtaposed with images of the homelessness, crime, and racism that are equally central to life in the Crescent City. Within these pages we find Southern Decadence revelers clashing with religious protesters, Catholic traditions merging with Voodoo, and New Orleanians from all walks of life expressing themselves through satire and parody. In short, we witness the city not only as a backdrop to cataclysmic confrontations, but also as a force that rouses them.
“This book is a beautiful and insightful meditation on New Orleans—its determination to embrace life in the face of death, its powerfully strange magic, its decrepit elegance, its contradictions. Gerber’s photography exquisitely captures the mysterious paradoxes of the city and in so doing vividly illustrates that the sacred and the profane are inextricably linked in New Orleans. The Danse Macabre is a monumental achievement.” ~Frank Perez, author of Political Animal: The Life and Times of Stewart Butler
“Cheryl Gerber has documented the beautiful visual cacophony that is New Orleans. She traverses indoor and outdoor celebrations and private moments from river to lake. It is our privilege to journey with such a capable photographer.” ~Fatima Shaik, author of Economy Hall: The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood
“Cheryl Gerber is home in her native New Orleans. The past of New Orleans is well documented, but its present time and coming future certainly need the vision of Gerber, her experience, and her talent.” ~Bernard Hermann, author of The Good Times Rolled: Black New Orleans, 1978–1982