Posted inArt

Detroit Ruin Porn and the Fetish for Decay

Hearing “Detroit” today brings to mind some ideas specific to the post-2000s: a city emptied by the flight of business, money and population, the crisis faced by American car makers during the economic crisis, a bunch of grand buildings built while times were flush and now as empty and silent as a modern Stonehenge. The last idea, the connection of Detroit with its failing, crumbling architecture, has now become such a dominant visual path for artists depicting the city that an entire genre has arisen: Detroit ruin porn. The voyeuristic pleasure of ruined grandiosity is nothing new though; we have only to look to depictions of earlier ruins to see the same fetish for decay.