Monday, 13 March 2017

Slowly falling apart

Another abandoned world photo book from Carpet Bombing Culture who are probably the leading publishers of this book genre. Photographer Tong Lam has travelled around the world to capture a collection of junked structures with, of course, two of the regulars: Detroit and Mitsubishi's Hashima Island, Japan but he also found other places that produce fascinating photos for the eleven chapters. Chapter five looks at auto scrap yards with some very atmospheric shots taken at dusk. Chapter seven Pleasure spots, covers abandoned amusement parks, in America, revealing essentially lightweight construction quickly falling apart and providing colorful images.

Each chapter starts with a brief essay and description about the following pictures. I thought some of this text was rather predictable, it assumes that abandoned buildings is an ever growing problem but the space taken up by these is insignificant when compared to land used for man-made activity around the globe which itself occupies only a small amount of the total land mass. The left behind culture is a by-product of the market economy where there is no obligation for companies to remove what they built when it becomes surplus, it's just easier to walk away.

The photos, printed with a 175 screen, work well in the book's square format. The layout is picture book style rather than an art photo book presentation. There is a slight annoyance because none of the photos are captioned and there are no page numbers either.

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