Saturday, January 18, 2014

Reveling in a sense of abandonment...

   I've noticed a trend in photography over the last year or so...the pursuit of abandonment.  The photographers seem to revel in the destruction and chaos of these forgotten places.  Of course, photographing the left behind, (I call these leftovers I find in the landscape Remnants ), is nothing new but this seeming obsession among photographers today is.  I think it is very telling.

   We have become a throw away society.  Nothing lasts...nothing is meant to last.  We use, we sometimes abuse, and then we discard long before the thing has reached its natural end.

   Photographing these abandoned structures and spaces is a haunting reminder of the futility of thinking in terms of "forever".  Even before it is built, it is obsolete.  We seem to desperately need the newest of everything (cameras, computers, cell phones and Photoshop programs) even if what we have is working fine.  We know that newer isn't necessarily better but it seems we can't help the impulse to "up grade".   

   I think what I love about the Outer Hebrides off the West coast of Scotland is this sense of continuity and timelessness.  Coming across abandoned cottages seemed more like visiting a memorial to a distant time.  There was a dignity and strength in the stones.  They seemed to say, "Yes, my time has past but remember, it is that past which shaped you.  Celebrate it."

   I'm not sure that is the meaning behind these photographic decide.        

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