Wednesday, July 17, 2013

States of Decay

Another book of photography from derelict structures in Northeast America. The photo above is from a gallery put up by the Guardian, and the only one showing "nature" making its way into the decay. Follow this link to the Guardian story states-of-decay-america-derelict-beauty-in-pictures The book is entitled States of Decay,  and it joins a growing list of photography books on urban decay. Most fixate on the human [like this book does] but you can find nature creeping in to reclaim the landscape in some of the photos. However, the genre of urban explorer and decay photography could benefit from reading some Romantic poetry to better culturally assess their obsession with decay. I will let Robert Southey school them,

Aye Charles! I knew that this would fix thine eye,

This woodbine wreathing round the broken porch,
Its leaves just withering, yet one autumn flower
Still fresh and fragrant; and yon holly-hock
That thro' the creeping weeds and nettles tall
Peers taller, and uplifts its column'd stem
Bright with the broad rose-blossoms. I have seen
Many a fallen convent reverend in decay,
And many a time have trod the castle courts
And grass-green halls, yet never did they strike
Home to the heart such melancholy thoughts
As this poor cottage. Look, its little hatch
Fleeced with that grey and wintry moss; the roof
Part mouldered in, the rest o'ergrown with weeds,
House-leek and long thin grass and greener moss;
So Nature wars with all the works of man,
And, like himself, reduces back to earth
His perishable piles.

From English Eclogues VI. The Ruined Cottage.

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