The House that Heaven built


The ruins are framed as if there’s nothing else, as if this building, symmetrical and dilapidated, was an endless fixture in a space in time. The pattern of windows, unflinching in their uniformity, frame the image so that the “Ricky Eddie” quietly becomes the focus of the piece. The city of Detroit leaves many of these structures behind, except most of the time, they stay hidden beneath the national conversation about the economy. Rarely are the abandoned ruins, the Ricky or Eddie in question, thrust into full view like they are in the photo. 

This detail shot fits in the essay because it in a lot of ways overwhelms you at first sight. Every small nuance of the building, in full view, become miniature narratives, the photo is the essay, detailing the complexity of the subject.

The audience sees this picture and immediately searches for the description, learning this is a train station is the moment the photo essay begins to matter, the “why” of the piece. The growing concern with the future of the economy makes the the United states of old, the U.S characterized by a thriving middle class, seem like a distant memory of an unretrievable past. 

In a lot of ways the image forces that oft-uncomfortable reality on to the viewer.

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