Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Describing Industrial Ruins
The language used to describe the industrial ruin is closely in tune with the vocabulary of death and decay. Identified with decomposition and the corpse, industrial ruins are verbally described as sites that rot through the passing of time, architectures that ultimately present a skeleton of their original form. To align ruins with death implies a collection of negative connotations. Within this dialogue, ruins are unpleasant blemishes upon the urban fabric, cancerous sites in the city. Industrial ruins crumble, collapse, decay, disintegrate, decompose, fragment and perish. The literal allusions to death are magnified as these buildings become mouldy, smelling and rotting like cadavers. Despite the olfactory and visual analogies to the deceased corpse, industrial ruins are not dead, useless spaces. It is their decay that allows them to be sites of memory, where the ghosts to the past can inhabit the present.