At the beginning, shooting at these neglected ruins in both rural and urban areas was more about curiosity. Only as I stood amid in the eerily silent hallways and peeling ceilings of a similarly crumbling institution did I truly understand its role in the history of the lost ways of life. My photographs explore the aesthetic and artistic value of architectural decay ranging from barns, houses, and other distinctive structures that represent neglect and deindustrialization among our rural and urban atmosphere; they document the physical conditions that are direct consequences of failed economies.
As many of the social institutions that once were the pride of our country now lie in ruins, it is vital that we remember our heritage and our achievements. This piece from my Ruin Porn series is committed to ensuring that even when it is impossible to retain a historic structure, its unique characteristics, stories, and social impact are not forgotten and can be shared with the world at large. It is my hope to reach out to those who might originally have seen an abandoned site as an eyesore and encourage them to rethink their estimation and strive to foster pride in these ruins of long-gone eras - thus looking forward to a future where we can build on our past rather than erasing it.
We are engaging in a time where every spare plot of land is starting to be developed and redeveloped into mass-produced homes and businesses; churches, homes, and buildings hold a valuable piece of our common past, however they are no longer being acknowledged in this generation. Every building in ruins that is ignored and soon to be demolished erases a valuable part of the heritage of the community it helped create, rather it be in a small-rural town or an urban city like Gary, Indiana. This particular architectural site, City United Methodist Church, gives us the opportunity to understand the class struggles and the economic devastation created by the building closing.
My intention embraces not only the historical and photographic cataloging of such sites, but also a eulogy for the lost ways of life they represent; a statement of their emotional, spiritual, and symbolic significance to our everyday lives; and a sense of the instinctual experience of entering a corresponding universe of silence, rust, brokenness and peeling paint. I want my viewers to see and feel things they can’t in the ordinary world.