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Andrew Moore: Detroit Disassembled

Overview

No longer the Motor City of boom-time industry, the city of Detroit has fallen into an incredible state of dilapidation since the decline of the American auto industry after the Second World War. Today, whole sections of the city resemble a war zone, its once-spectacular architectural grandeur reduced to vacant ruins. In Detroit Disassembled, photographer Andrew Moore records a territory in which the ordinary flow of time-or the forward march of the assembly line-appears to have been thrown spectacularly into ...
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Overview

No longer the Motor City of boom-time industry, the city of Detroit has fallen into an incredible state of dilapidation since the decline of the American auto industry after the Second World War. Today, whole sections of the city resemble a war zone, its once-spectacular architectural grandeur reduced to vacant ruins. In Detroit Disassembled, photographer Andrew Moore records a territory in which the ordinary flow of time-or the forward march of the assembly line-appears to have been thrown spectacularly into reverse. For Moore, who throughout his career has been drawn to all that contradicts or seems to threaten America's postwar self-image (his previous projects include portraits of Cuba and Soviet Russia), Detroit's decline affirms the carnivorousness of our earth, as it seeps into and overruns the buildings of a city that once epitomized humankind's supposed supremacy. In Detroit Disassembled, Moore locates both dignity and tragedy in the city's decline, among postapocalyptic landscapes of windowless grand hotels, vast barren factory floors, collapsing churches, offices carpeted in velvety moss and entire blocks reclaimed by prairie grass. Beyond their jawdropping content, Moore's photographs inevitably raise the uneasy question of the long-term future of a country in which such extreme degradation can exist unchecked.
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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Although there is plenty of rubble in "Detroit Disassembled," Mr. Moore's work usually escapes the narrow constraints of the genre. His large-scale prints-some up to 5 feet by 6 feet - are sumptuous and painterly, rich in texture and color: the emerald carpet of moss growing on the floor of Henry Ford's office at the Model T plant, the pumpkin-orange walls of a vandalized classroom at Cass Technical High School, the crimson panels of a former F.B.I. shooting range. Photos like those of the enormous rolling hall at Ford's River Rouge plant and a sunset over the Bob-Lo Island boat dock were inspired, Mr. Moore said, by 19th-century American landscape painters like Frederic Church and Martin Johnson Heade.
— Mike Rubin
Library Journal
"God has left Detroit" states graffiti on the wall of an abandoned nursing home. That claim is the perfect summation of this collection of remarkable photos depicting the once great metropolis as a city gone to ruin. Photographer Moore's Detroit is as rusted, pitted, and decrepit as the rotting roadside hulk of a once luxurious automobile that was the Motor City's lifeblood. Photographing in color, Moore captures decaying ships, peeling movie theaters, a shuttered library with paperbacks crumbling in book stands, abandoned car factories, and uninhabitable private residences, including a house so overgrown with foliage that its original structure is all but invisible. VERDICT Though it is unsettling to see this former dynamo of domestic industry decayed into a nightmare landscape out of post-apocalyptic science fiction, the photos are powerful, and the message is clear. Photography fans will go for this, and those interested in poverty and urban issues also will find it interesting.—Mike Rogers, Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788862081184
  • Publisher: Damiani/Akron Art Museum
  • Publication date: 4/30/2010
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 245,718
  • Product dimensions: 14.14 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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