This is something subliminally beautiful about Detroit in its present (and tragic) state of decay. The closest American parallel I can think of is New Orleans, where the term “picturesque decay” popped into my mind again and again as I walked around the city.
Yet, unlike the South, architecture in the Rust Belt tends to be stone and brick rather than wood so there is a majesty in the buildings like something from a lost civilization.
There is a fine photo essay on Time.com worth checking out. It is created by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre.
United Artists Theater
This image reminded me of the recent Miquel Barcelo’s bizarrely colorful stalactite ceiling for the Room of Human Rights and the Alliance of Civilisations at the United Nations building in Geneva, Switzerland.
The juxtaposition of the fence, a collapsing mansion and a moody sky amplifies the tragedy in the photo with a heavy dose of loneliness. It is the land that time forgot.
Take a look at the whole photo essay here.
The one thing that made me uncomfortable is that it appears that one of the photographers, Yves Marchand, used the decaying theater for a fashion shoot, which you can see on his website (or a screenshot here). Though, to be fair, it does appear that Yves and his cohort, Romaine Meffre, do explore “ruins” as a major theme in their photographic work in general.
Check out their art photography here (it incl. tons of images from the Detroit series not posted on Time.com).