Sunday, May 3, 2009

Last Saturday, I spent the better part of the day in the dimmed corridors of several abandoned buildings. Strapped with cameras, my friend Tommy and I worked our way through the slightly damp and musty innards of empty factories and their dilapidated outbuildings. The factories themselves were cavernous - at the same time airy and stifled. The other buildings were in varying states of disrepair, from splintered roofs that let slivers of sunlight cut through the dust to completely open to the blinding blue sky that looked all the more clean and bright against the gloom.

We picked through glass shards from broken windows, rusted metal machinery and the weeds that worked their way through the concrete. And there were the other signs of man: stacks of time cards from the 40s and 50s; a list of money saving measures still tacked to a bulletin board; piles of carpet samples; scattered hard hats.

I took a photo of a door with no knob. Tommy noted that there was something poetic about it. Perhaps it was the contradiction of silent factories. Quiet spaces that once hummed. Empty stillness instead of deafening industry. Concrete fortresses filled with rain pools and lush vines. The mundane items that somehow seemed exceptional because they had been abandoned. The strange beauty of neglect.

I'm almost certain that Willie Mae Hollis never thought that a time card from 1944 noting a standard 8-hour workday in December would one day be fascinating just because it had been left behind.


Post a Comment