Detroit: Ruin Porn

“Detroit, Michigan is a major center for ruins photography. Since manufacturing jobs began leaving the city in the 1950s, Detroit has not only seen a decline in population, but also has seen many buildings and homes abandoned, vandalized, and destroyed.” – Wiki

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I was born in Detroit but never lived there.  I have almost no sense of the city itself, but am familiar with its many suburbs since that’s where Mojżesza led my people in the early 80s.  Delta Airlines led me back this holiday season, and in the midst of all those cousins and cookie platters, I took in some ruin porn.

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I believe this is the old Packard Plant but I’m not sure because since I crawled through a locked gate and over a cemetery to get close to it, I wasn’t hanging around to read signs.  Also there were rabid and starving dogs sniffing around.  Also the tombs.

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I am drawn to these giant rotting spaces, monstrously looming in the urban background. I see one and I feel desperate to get inside.  This former building was so large and so soft it looked prehistoric in its decay.  It was a frigid day too, with a relentless wind pushing the rebar together; the dangling concrete slabs literally moaned with pressure.

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Ruin Porn.

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I am not a landscape photographer – a million people shoot better pictures of places and things.  What I would love to shoot though, what I can bring to a photograph that no one else can, is my kids.  What I wouldn’t give to capture my children running around this space – new and vibrant against aged and spoiled, David inside Goliath, life dancing on death’s floor!   A little on the nose as a subject perhaps, but what a memory we’d create.  If only it weren’t for those damn dogs. Or the law. Or gravity.

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Thanks Detroit.  One day I’ll come back and do a legit tour through your abandoned beauty and pump some tourist money into your economy hole.  Until then, take care of my extended family, okay?

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One thought on “Detroit: Ruin Porn

  1. Pingback: Detroit: Open Your Art | Black Panty Salvation

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