Ruins of the Great American Civilization, Part 1

A photographic essay by Silas Wang
City-Wide Open Studios, October 2007
Alternative Space, former Hamden Middle School

I enjoy landscape and still life photography, and one of my favourite subjects is ruins. Some of the themes that I like to explore are: the slow breakdown of the ordered and geometric work of humans by the random and organic forces of nature reclaiming a ruin; artifacts as silent witnesses to the coming and going of people and the passage of time; the unknown story of hopes, dreams, and livelihoods lived out in a space eventually abandoned; and finding beauty in what is ordinarily overlooked and considered ugly. Ruins are often associated in the public mind with ancient civilizations, but the more recent industrial age has also left the American landscape dotted with its ruins. The photos from this essay were taken in locations around New Haven, Bridgeport, and Rochester, NY.


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