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Thursday, May 5, 2011

American Ruins: Photographs by Arthur Drooker

While in the States recently, I picked up a copy of American Ruins. The book centers on infrared photographs taken by Arthur Drooker.
"Infrared light conjures up ethereal landscapes where shadows hover like apparitions, leaves and grass glow in downy white, clouds float in their own dreamy dimension, and ruins appear as fragments of an unsolvable mystery."
The use of this technology to capture the essence of ruins is both inspiring, and a reminder that one must consider multiple perspectives and try different techniques to capture those aspects we find fascinating in ruins.

The photographs are accompanied by an essay by Christopher Woodward, author of In Ruin. However, this essay introduces little new material to the discussion. One thing Woodward mentions, which he left out of his previous book, is a thought by Charles Dickens regarding the Colosseum.
"Dickens wrote that the structure should continue to crumble one inch per year, so that it demonstrated the destruction of paganism."(p13)
The ruin is preserved by allowing it to continue to crumble. It's unclear how the ruin can be maintained so that only one inch decays each year, and in any case, the idea is mostly a symbolic way to mark the defeat of paganism. It's kind of a bygone, insecure way of thinking. Should Rosh Haayin ruins be allowed to stay ruins in order to emphasize that the British Mandate is over? It would be kind of silly.

1 comment:

  1. יש גם משהו חדש/ישן מראש העין?
    או עדכון על הפרוייקט?