Contemporary Ruins


Formerly grand theaters, now with bright paint flaking from ornate columns and wide arches collapsing in tangles of rebar, echo the tragedies that once played across their stages and cinema screens; heaps of rubble and gaping black windows punctuate the spalling concrete walls of an abandoned cement works. Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre have traveled throughout Europe and America in search of decaying structures, and their large-scale, deep-focus color photographs update Casper David Friedrich’s paintings of collapsed Gothic cathedrals. But the German master depicted weed-choked edifices that stood for centuries before beginning their prolonged decline, a romantic vision of religious resilience entwined with spiritual mysticism. In contrast, these two young Frenchmen focus on utilitarian buildings constructed within living memory, and their vistas of contemporary rot emphasize the callow wastefulness of breakneck modernity.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: June 19. Continues through July 20, 2008