The Economist has published an interesting photo essay of photography and commentary on a number of abandoned and all-but-ruined American ruins. Even as we progress in our understanding and mastery of the material world, everything we touch is still subject to the decay of a fallen world.
Here’s from the introduction:
Abandoned buildings are in mourning. They grieve for the lives that their damp and empty rooms have left behind. In their prime, these monumental breakers, lead works and turbine halls presented a public face to the world. They were the arena where men and women toiled and enterprise ended in success or failure. Now they are shut away, left to mourn in silence.
The columns and pilasters of these immense buildings recall a more assertive past. In that foreign country, powered by coal and steam, the 20th century was young and dynamic. The future held an intoxicating vision of progress. Now the future has arrived and that promise has been left strewn across the tarmac, mingled with broken glass, rusting iron and the encroaching scrub of the woods.Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, the photographers who took these pictures, have built their professional lives on ruins. Both born in the 1980s, they started photographing derelict buildings in the outskirts of Paris, where they grew up. Since then they have shot America’s abandoned cinemas and its empty office blocks. At first each had his own camera; now they use just one. “Often”, Marchand says, “we cannot remember who took which shot.”
Nothing breaks the law of entropy. View the slideshow here.