Continued from Sick of Ruins, from John Cunningham, “Boredom in the Charnel House: Theses on ‘Post-industrial’ Ruins” inVariant No. 42.
This is used to good effect by the artist-photographer Jorge Ribalta who reconstructed and photographed scale models of the ‘urban decay’ of working class districts of Barcelona prior to their gentrification.
As John Roberts writes, this is an elegy to “an area that once had a rich and variegated social and economic history” now designated by capital as “unproductive”. Such an approach mobilises the ‘opacity’ of urban decay – and memory – against the transparent homogenisation that capital desires for city space while emphasising the simultaneous production of both.
As a counterpoint to the earlier post on Budapest’s ruin bars…
From John Cunningham, “Boredom in the Charnel House: Theses on ‘Post-industrial’ Ruins”in Variant No. 42.
I find it easy to share this bored, angry scepticism towards the fetishism of crumbling concrete, cracked windows and hidden wastelands. In the image world of hopefully ‘late’ capitalism the industrial ruin has acquired a fair amount of cultural capital and such spectacular over-determination is a major reason for ennui with corroded concrete.
Psychogeography often functions as an index of dissatisfaction with contemporary urban space… Psychogeography has always thrived upon such juxtapositions between a projected image of the gleaming ‘new’ – heavily regulated spaces sponsored by capital – and the human remnants, memories and ruins of urban space.
[As always, photos hotlinked with image sources]