Today’s artist is not much different, but as I mentioned in the previous post, I have a soft spot in my heart for this type of photography. Michelle is anti-vandalism and focuses on leaving only footprints in her adventures in these forgotten places, which I appreciate. Though I think that this type of abandonment is the ultimate vandalism to the earth itself, documenting our incredible ability to simply forget these magnificent places is astonishing. I love the views of holy places, such as churches or castles, that have been left to rot. To imagine beautiful women and flamboyantly dressed men walking the halls of some of the theaters and mansions she captures is a lessen in humility.
Money comes and goes, but how we treat the land we live in lasts forever.
These places, to me, are more beautiful now than they ever were when they were being used. It is a reminder of mortality – our temporary existence is so important in all the small ways each human effects the world around us. These buildings were once staples of their existence, a school or factory that was so important in someone’s daily life is now as dead as the person who once found it so important. But in this cycle of use, the message of conservation and reuse is more important than many of these building’s initial use – no matter how important they were during its prime, it is no longer of any use to anyone, and is left to simply rot. This disposable society we engage in no longer simply applies to small objects such as clothes or gadgets but extends beyond to these colossal man-made structures that takes up more space than some small villages at times. It is no wonder animals and vagabonds seek refuge in these spaces – they are just as abandoned.
It saddens me to see some of these left in such a hurry – in some of her work you see towels still sitting on a broken bathtub, a perfectly made bed covered in layers upon layers of dust, or a time-stamp machine that has forgotten time is still moving forward, forever displaying a time and date that has long since past….
For more images, check out her expansive flickr account: