The Art Of Ruins Porn
Late in the summer of 2011 Detroit got hit by a hefty (albeit brief) thunderstorm, we're talking green and yellow clouds. Shortly thereafter an enormous, full rainbow emerged over the east side. Nigh instinctively I grabbed my gear and ran to the Packard Plant, praying all the while that the conditions would maintain themselves long enough to be captured. When I arrived, I was frustrated to realize that I could not capture much of the rainbow with the foreground I had selected, but upon later review came across this photo and was quite pleased with the results. As the years have gone on, I have become more and more picky about what I shoot, and when I shoot it. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing a picture (read: picture, not photo) of the Packard Plant or Michigan Central Train Station with an ominous grey sky, extremely high contrast, or an over saturated tone map. While an argument can be made that all abandon building photos are 'Ruins Porn' (in other words, exploitative), a further argument can be made that some images are more pornographic than others. There is little to no art involved in making something decrepit look more decrepit. Following the onslaught of media attention Detroit's ruins began to garner around 2008, I've tried to make a point to capture these buildings in unique, and otherwise beautiful light, with (sometimes wistful) hopes that they will be seen as something different entirely.
- Nicolas Boileau