I recently stumbled upon this photography project by Kevin Bauma called 100 Abandoned Houses and it really struck a chord with me. I emailed Kevin and asked him could I feature some of the photos on the blog and fantastically he said yes.
I'm not sure what it is in these photos that resonates with me so strongly. At first I thought they looked pretty creepy and that's why I wanted to feature them on my blog. But since then I have been thinking about these images a lot and it seems there are many more layers to it than just 'they look creepy'. Essentially, I guess, that is what I consider to be great art. Something that makes you think, something that opens your eyes to something new either about yourself or about the world around you, something you can't quite explain and something that makes you want to go back revisit it a second (or third or fourth of fifth) time. They are also incredibly beautiful photos which makes it even more eery for me..
The houses that feature in this photo collection are all from Detroit, the artists home town and a place that has an astonishing 12,000 abandoned residences (that's 138 square miles of abandoned property!) The project started innocently enough as Kevin began photographing some of the abandoned houses as a creative outlet for himself and as a way to try and get to grips with the state of his home town. He built up a huge collection and it soon turned into the 100 Abandoned Houses project, although this is just a drop in the ocean in comparison to how many ghost houses exist in the area!
The population in Detroit has decreased in size from 2,000,000 citizens to less than 800,000 which gives an indication as to why this problem exists and also makes it clear that the problem isn't going to go away any time soon. Looks like these ominous structures are here to stay.
I'm featuring about a third of the pictures from the over all project on my blog here so be sure to check the rest out on his website if you like them.
Take a look at some of the ones that I thought stood out:
Although they are all abandoned houses, there is a lot of difference among them. The feeling off some is almost positive, while others make you think the worst. Many of them have been destroyed in fires and I can't help but wonder if there were people inside at the time. What made people leave these houses? What has gone on inside them since they've been sitting there empty? Who owns them? Will they ever be reborn into loving homes?
I got some perspective on my own reaction to these images due to the fact that I stumbled across them on an architecture website. The way they were presented through that site was like they were all a complete goldmine - a goldmine of information and potential for learning among the upcoming architecture students looking to improve their skills in renovation planning and restructuring! :)
I, on the other hand, was looking at them wondering if people had died inside them and feeling pangs of grief over the notion of 'abandonment' and all it represents, whether it be a house... or a family.
What did these images conjure up for you?