Thursday, October 11, 2012

the disappearing city

I can't remember how I came across these photographs by James Griffioen, but I keep going back to them, scrolling through and wanting to know more. They're all images of Detroit. What fascinates me is the idea that entire blocks have been burned, grown over, and simply abandoned. Can you imagine if everyone just gradually left your neighborhood. Left their furniture, shut the door and just got outta dodge? Eery right? Apparently, parts of Detroit are literally deteriorating. Old theaters and factories just left for nature to take over. An abandoned zoo. It's sad to see such neglect and it's sad on a much broader level to think about the complications of this place. But, it's also beautiful the way he's captured "the disappearing city." As we know, nature keeps on going even despite us.
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“…For a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become “feral” in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.”
“There is a certain comfort here. The earth is fine. Nature is patient. The plants are just waiting. It is the monuments we build, the paths we tread that are endangered.”
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To see more… check out

all photos ©james d griffioen

1 comment:

  1. So amazing and evocative. I want the tiny house pic!