Published by Cabinet Books. Photographs by Nancy Davenport.
Renovation presents the most recent work of Canadian photographer Nancy Davenport (born 1965)--a critical yet poignant meditation on the massive restoration of the United Nations headquarters in New York that took place between 2008 and 2015. Davenport’s project features a remarkable series of images, including photographs of iconic UN architecture, portraits of people who worked on the renovation site, historical photos and archival material, and original artwork that remixes graphic forms and visual citations related to the United Nations’ mid-20th-century construction. Transcribed conversations with construction workers, maintenance crews and interpreters reveal a code of job-site etiquette and ethics that is a counterpart, by turns tragic and hilarious, to the official modus operandi of business conducted at the United Nations. Davenport’s book isolates a haunting in-between moment--after the past was stripped away and before it was re-enshrined.