One-Way.jpg Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central Thumbnails Orion Over Michigan Central

Detroit's Michigan Central Train Station fades into a heavy November fog while a lone, aging street sign utters a set of instructions that were unquestionably obeyed, though quite tentatively misunderstood. I used to have a very difficult time showing this photograph. Residing in close proximity to downtown, and having many of times served as a worm on the hook for it's billionaire owner Manuel Moroun to garner political favors from Detroit, the Train Station stands ominously as a final monument to white flight. I would argue that it is the most pornographic capture I have of any Detroit ruin. The photo was, and remains to be a favorite of ex-Detroiters who, with the sort of reckless abandonment that enrages me, would seemingly like a reminder to not look back. I am however perpetually drawn to the image's powerful composition and this has provided me many hours of contemplation about what it means, and more broadly the city of Detroit. The photo presents three elements, a well known abandon structure, a recognizable street sign, and a more abstract element, the fog, acting as a suture between the fore and back grounds. At a glimpse, the message would seem straight forward: leave this monstrosity of a building, this struggle of a city for an easier fight. However, after years of entering the structure, I look at the image and am reminded of the opening scene of Citizen Kane where the camera progresses through increasingly strict barriers, eventually arriving inside the mansion to introduce one of the greatest stories ever told on film. The story of Detroit is not unlike that of the fictional Kane's. Behind the shattered glass and barbed wire that has so often come to visually symbolize Detroit exists a powerful, unwavering sense of self and character that has endured the longest and most unforgiving of storms to accomplish the unfathomable. We pioneered the factories that revolutionized industry across the globe. We designed, produced, and distributed the automobiles that mobilized nations. When our country called upon us, we built the machines, tanks, and birds of war that saved the world from the most powerful enemy it has ever known. Twice over we produced sounds so deep and unique that their presence undeniably lingers in today's airwaves; and we whom have not fled, who are able to look at an image like this and disobey its feeble surface tones in favor of what may lie behind that fog will carry the torch.