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  1. #1
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Economic disaster photo porn (?): Detroit

    I confess I'm attracted to industrial ruins for subjects, but around here they are more the result of the march of time than economic downturn consequences.

    http://www.tnr.com/article/metro-pol...-disaster-porn

    The "Guardian" has examples and the spaces and surfaces are striking:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesi...173054&index=0

    I bought a book which is a scholarly translation of, and commentary on Neopolitan folk tales, published by Wayne State University, Detroit in 2007.

    It's difficult to reconcile the photographs with the book; is Detroit unjustly maligned?

    Regards - Ross

  2. #2
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Detroit is a strange place. Downtown are towering skyscrapers that are the headquarters of companies like GM and Ford and the rest of the city is a blighted ghost town. The middle class basically doesn't exist there, the rich live in suburbs like Grosse Point, and those poor who remain live in horrid slums and will likely never have paying jobs because there are none in Detroit. The decline of American manufacturing did this to Detroit and a lot of other midwestern American cities. Flint, Michigan is said to be even worse off than Detroit. Even relatively prosperous midwest cities like Indianapolis and my hometown, Fort Wayne, have extremely high unemployment and low wages for those who do work except for a small number of people in the few middle class jobs that remain.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  3. #3

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    I too have a soft spot for industrial ruins, but as Chris says above, they do have human consequences.

    The photos in the Guardian link come from a book which looks really interesting but the price is high (£66).
    Steve.

  4. #4
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Chris ,

    I visited your website and it is excellent. But I scared. I had been visited the american library and I found there a photo book on hobos. It is not as told at On the road , Beatnic Jack Kerauac book , it is terrible , like a horror movie. At these pictures and book at the library tells a very strong story. Like after WW2 East Europe from Kosinski. I scared .

    Umut

  5. #5

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    Do you recall the title of the book Umut?

  6. #6
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Ross: you might find Detroit Disassembled by Andrew Moore interesting. It is filled with large format, color photographs that document the industrial ruins of Detroit.

    I have had the opportunity to visit and photograph some of these buildings with my Detroit-area friends. While in the Packard Auto plant, a multi-story building that covers literally acres of ground, I was profoundly affected by thoughts of the thousands of workers that once produced quality cars there, and the families they could no longer support when the plant closed. I went there in search of photographs to satisfy my photographic vision, and left with a much deeper appreciation of the soul of a once magnificant city.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  7. #7

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    I knew that Detroit was not doing so good, but didn't realize it was that bad.

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Andrew Moore did a book and exhibit on Detroit Disassembled. It was at the Akron Art Museum. Recently several of our Apug Gathering Group went up to Detroit and were escorted through two of the buildings in Andrew Moore’s exhibit. Our guides were Andrew Moore’s assistants for the exhibit. He shot everything on a Linhof Technikardan 45. After our Sept. gathering we went to the exhibit.

    Ask Jeff and Eva Bannow and Daniel and Sike on Apug. They were our guides in Detroit.

    John Powers

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/blog...assembled.html
    http://www.andrewlmoore.com/
    http://www.andrewlmoore.com/view_ima...&project_id=13
    http://video.westernreservepublicmed...eo/1536891086/
    http://www.akronartmuseum.org/pastexhibitions/

  9. #9
    lns
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross Chambers View Post
    ... It's difficult to reconcile the photographs with the book; is Detroit unjustly maligned?

    Regards - Ross
    This is the part I don't understand. I'm not sure what you mean by "maligned"? I don't think anyone in America thinks Detroit is bad or did something wrong. It is what it is. What makes those photographs so interesting, to me, is that they aren't just photos of one of the numberless cities around the world that has lost its economic engine and is depressed. Detroit was one of the great cities in this country, and its near death is horrible but visually striking, like disaster movie, because it was once so grand and is now so nearly empty.

    On the other hand, the wealth has not all gone away, but really shifted out of the city into the greater Detroit area, like the suburbs around Birmingham or even the Ann Arbor area. There are fine universities nearby, especially the University of Michigan. And my brother-in-law went to Wayne State for graduate work and says good things about its engineering program. I've spent a lot of time in Detroit, which is where my husband grew up. I've even stayed in the city, which is very empty and very sad, but at least is trying to revive. It's got a great hockey team which plays in the city, and while that might sound like very little if you're from elsewhere, it's a hockey town, and the Red Wings mean a lot to the city, economically and as a source of pride.

    -Laura

  10. #10

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    Umut,

    Have a look at Richard Avedons work "In the American West"

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