Well here's nothing new. Andrew Moore's now famous photobook ode to Detroit ruins, Detroit Disassembled, has been on the bookshelves since April 2010 and we've all seen it. Not so back east in the Big Apple where the Queens Museum of Art celebrated its official opening for an exhibit of the photos that will run until January 2012. So what would a New York Times arts writer have to say about it.
For a New Yorker describing Detroit, the question of where to begin is usually answered with a New York comparison.
Michigan Central Station is an imposing leviathan of another era. The disembarkation point for countless Motor City migrants seeking a decent wage in Henry Ford’s factories, it was Detroit’s Ellis Island for the journey toward middle-class life. Ellis Island,
the location of the tourist trap that is the so-called gateway for immigration NEAR the Statue of Liberty, was one we didn't see coming. But then again, tour buses full of photo-snapping tourists are known to frequent the train station as well. Mr. Moore has been a New Yorker since 1980 and spent three months in the Motor City snapping his photos, before eventually becoming one of the poster-children in the ruin porn debate. He took the opportunity to mull this over a bit with the Times. Mr. Moore sees the ruin porn controversy as part of the debate about “whether the artist should be socially responsible or work in an unhindered fashion,” and concluded that, "Detroit actually is that meeting point, the place where art confronts anxiety.”
As for our arts writer, it would seem ruin porn is his color wheel seductress.
His large-scale prints are sumptuous and painterly, rich in texture and color: the emerald carpet of moss growing on the floor of Henry Ford’s office at the Model T plant, the pumpkin-orange walls of a vandalized classroom at Cass Technical High School, the crimson panels of a former F.B.I. shooting range. · Capturing the Idling of the Motor City [NYTimes]
· Detroit Disassembled: Photographs by Andrew Moore [Queens Museum of Art]