Yves Marchand Photographs
Romain meffre Photographs
Robert Polidori Essay
Thomas J. Sugrue Essay
Steidl, Göttingen, Germany, 2011, English (essays translated from French)
Nonfiction, Photography
14.6 x 11.6 x 1.2 inches, hardcover, 230 pages, 186 illustrations
ISBN: 9783869300429
Suggested Retail Price: $125.00

From the Publisher. Over the past generation Detroit has suffered economically worse than any other of the major American cities and its rampant urban decay is now glaringly apparent during this current recession. Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre documented this disintegration, showcasing structures that were formerly a source of civic pride, and which now stand as monuments to the city’s fall from grace. The author/photographers write, “Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is temporary by nature, the volatile result of the end of an era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time: being dismayed, or admiring, wondering about the permanence of things. Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.” With introductory essays by Robert Polidori and Thomas J. Sugrue.

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Rick Poynor

I was staggered the first time I saw whole neighborhoods in a state of disintegration on a visit to Detroit. How could a city in such a wealthy nation resemble a war zone? Car plants, hotels, theaters, apartment buildings, school classrooms, police stations, dentists’ surgeries, bank vaults—in brilliant pictures, taken over a five-year period, we confront a vision of economic disaster and a city fabric gripped by entropy. A deeply alarming survey and, we have to hope, not as prescient as it feels.

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