Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre
Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.
The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time: being dismayed, or admire, making us wondering about the permanence of things.
Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.
About this Series of Photographs:
The Ruins of Detroit
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the city of Detroit developed rapidly thanks to the automobile industry.
Until the 50’s, its population rose to almost 2 million people. Detroit was the 4th most important city in the United States.
It was the dazzling symbol of the American Dream City with its monumental skyscrapers and fancy neighborhoods.
Increasing segregation and deindustrialization caused violent riots in 1967. The white middle-class exodus from the city accelerated and the suburbs grew. Firms and factories began to close or move to lower-wage states.
Slowly, but inexorably downtown high-rise buildings emptied.
Since the 50’s, “Motor City” lost more than half of its population.
Nowadays, its splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization.