Abandoned America

Throughout the ages, mankind has been fascinated by the ruins of previous societies. The desire to gain a greater understanding of our past has driven archaeologists, artists, and scholars from across the world to study the vestiges of lifestyles that have vanished in an attempt to capture their mystique and beauty.

Originally intended as an examination of the rise and fall of the state hospital system, Matthew Christopher’s Abandoned Americarapidly grew to encompass derelict factories and industrial sites, schools, churches, power plants, hospitals, prisons, military installations, hotels, resorts, homes, and more. Through his collection of writing and photography, Christopher has spent the last decade documenting the ruins of one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known: our own. Exploring sites like the charred remains of the Hotel Do De, the rusted cells of the Essex County Jail Annex, the sublime majesty of the Church of the Transfiguration, or the eerie and dilapidated remnants of the New Castle Elks Lodge, the work spans architectural treasures left to the elements and then all too often lost forever.
With 240 pages of beautiful photographs, a foreword by celebrated author James Howard Kunstler, and detailed historical background on each site, Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences is sure to captivate anyone with an interest in the modern ruins in our midst.

Review

“Matthew Christopher’s photographic record of decay depicts the tragic truth: that something extraordinary has ended and that nothing like it may ever come back. We’re now going in the other direction despite a lot of wishful thinking: toward a loss of complexity, a reduction in the scale of activity, a loss of artistry, and probably the end of many comforts, conveniences and amenities we’ve come to take for granted.”
James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere

“The places Christopher photographs tell their stories with silence and extraordinary light – the spaces between the life and death of a building. His pictures make me feel like someone told me a secret.”
Jane Derenowski, Reporter, NBC Nightly News

“It’s romantic, it’s nostalgic, it’s wistful, it’s provocative. It’s about time, nature, mortality, disinvestment.”
Joann Greco, The Atlantic Cities

“Through his photographs, Christopher makes a powerful statement about job loss, urban blight and historic preservation. In light of the collapse of American industry and the subsequent economic meltdown, the relevance of these topics has never been more important to the examination of America’s national identity.”
Joseph and Barrie Ann George, The Sentinel

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Abandoned Asylums

Couv Asylums

Abandoned Asylums takes readers on an unrestricted visual journey inside America’s abandoned state hospitals, asylums, and psychiatric facilities, the institutions where countless stories and personal dramas played out behind locked doors and out of public sight.

The images captured by photographer Matt Van der Velde are powerful, haunting and emotive. A sad and tragic reality that these once glorious historical institutions now sit vacant and forgotten as their futures are uncertain and threatened with the wrecking ball.

Explore a private mental hospital that treated Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities seeking safe haven. Or look inside the seclusion cells at an asylum that once incarcerated the now-infamous Charles Manson. Or see the autopsy theater at a Government Hospital for the Insane that was the scene for some of America’s very first lobotomy procedures.

With a foreward by renowned expert Carla Yanni examining their evolution and subsequent fall from grace, accompanying writings by Matt Van der Velde detailing their respective histories, Abandoned Asylums will shine some light on the glorious, and sometimes infamous institutions that have for so long been shrouded in darkness.

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Abandoned France

FranceFollow the trail of the abandoned Gandrange steelworks or the decommissioned Uckange blast furnaces in Lorraine, a spectacular marine graveyard in Brittany’s Crozon peninsula, a forgotten chateau on the outskirts of Paris, a derelict sanatorium in the Alps, the remains of a magnificent Art Deco concert hall in the north, a disused hospital in the south-west, a military fort in the Pyrenees, now off-limits, a former wine storage cellar in Normandy …

Following the success of his first book, published in 2009, Sylvain Margaine still travels around France in search of these forbidden and often overlooked places. In this way he draws attention to the sometimes dramatic fate of the country’s heritage, the preservation of which has become a matter for serious reflection.
An exceptional photographic report.

“Like a graffiti artist, he uses his digital reflex camera to capture the soul of these demolished, worn-down places that are doomed to oblivion … thus revealing the forgotten treasures of our heritage.” (Madame Figaro)

“Census-taker of monuments, storyteller of our hidden heritage, Sylvain Margaine is an urban explorer.” (Le Monde)

“Beyond the magnificent images, Sylvain Margaine shares an ephemeral, isolated and condemned urban heritage that lies off the beaten tracks of the city. You, too, will discover these forbidden places!” (Le Soir)

208 pages – ISBN : 978-2-36195-216-7  – 35 € / 19,95 USD / 29,95 CAN$ – 11/2017

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Abandoned Japan

Japan is often thought of as a place where the modern world and ancient traditions meet in surprising and fascinating ways. The rapid pace of technological, social and cultural change throughout the 20th century propelled the country forward but left countless establishments, industries and entire towns deserted.

Through his photography Jordy Meow explores these forgotten places and sheds light on a lost world that was thriving just a few decades ago.

Abandoned Japan documents famed ruins (haikyo in Japanese) such as Gunkanjima, the island featured in the Bond movie Skyfall, which once had a population of over 5,000 but is now completely abandoned, and the Disneyland-inspired Nara Dreamland theme park. Beyond these well-known sites, Jordy Meow also takes us on a journey through every aspect of rapidly disappearing past: from schools and hospitals to industrial sites and night-life, including strip clubs and love hotels.

Born in France in 1982, Jordy Meow studied in China software engineering. He eventually moved to Tokyo in 2008 to pursue an engineering career and started to work on his photography seriously. His pursuits have led him to make several trips to the abandoned island of Gunkanjima and one brief visit to North Korea. Saddened by the atmosphere he was seeing in most photos of haikyo at that time, he felt compelled to share his own which were
charged-up with the feelings he experienced while exploring those places. He made haikyo his first serious photography project. Today, he continues to spend most of his free time in search of offbeat and beautiful landscapes and runs projects related to photography and software
engineering. On sunny week-days, you can usually find Jordy daydreaming in the park, listening to the wind, and taking pictures of cats. He keeps his updated portfolio on www.meow.fr.

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After the Final Curtain

After the Final Curtain

There’s nothing remarkable about a movie theater today, but that wasn’t always the case. When the great American movie palaces opened in the early 20th century, they were some of the most lavish, stunning buildings anyone had ever seen. With the advent of television, theater companies found it harder and harder to keep them open. Some were demolished, some were converted, and some remain derelict to this day. “After the Final Curtain: The Fall of the American Movie Theatre” will take you through 24 of these magnificent buildings showing what beauty remains years after the last ticket was sold.

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Chernobyl’S Atomic Legacy

On 26 April 1986, reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded. The accident released at least 100 times more radiation than the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, and is considered to be the worst nuclear accident in the history of humanity. It is classified as a level 7 incident, the highest level on the International Nuclear Event Scale. The only other incident to be categorized at this level is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011.

In the days, months and years that followed, over half a million civilians and military personnel (“liquidators”) were involved in the decontamination process to avert a potential second catastrophe.

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Forbidden Places

Exploring our abandoned heritage.

Head off to explore the filming location of 12 Monkeys, Michael Jackson’s hometown turned ghost town, Berlin’s 1936 Olympic Village, deconsecrated churches, forgotten castles, deserted train stations, prisons and mental asylums, a cemetery of rusted locomotives, abandoned steel factories, phantom metro stations, and more. For 10 years, Sylvain Margaine has traveled the world in search of these forbidden and forgotten places. An exceptional photographic report.

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Forbidden Places – Volume 2

Look around the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Communist Party, lost in the mountains; London’s legendary Battersea Power Station; a deserted amusement park in Bali; Antwerp’s extraordinary Stock Exchange, devoid of any activity; Russian helicopters abandoned in Bruges; a phantom workers’ village in Italy; a dilapidated hospital in New York City; unheeded castles; derelict prisons and asylums …

For 10 years Sylvain Margaine has been travelling the world in search of these forbidden, all but forgotten, places.

An exceptional photographic report.

“Like a graffiti artist, he uses his digital reflex camera to capture the soul of these demolished, worn-down places that are doomed to oblivion … thus revealing the forgotten treasures of our heritage.” (Madame Figaro)

“Census-taker of monuments, storyteller of our hidden heritage, Sylvain Margaine is an urban explorer.” (Le Monde)

“Beyond the magnificent images, Sylvain Margaine shares an ephemeral, isolated and condemned urban heritage that lies off the beaten tracks of the city. You, too, will discover these forbidden places!” (Le Soir)

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Forbidden Places – Volume 3

Seek out a marine graveyard in Brittany, a spectacular former coal mine in Germany’s Ruhr basin, an abandoned hospital complex in Poland, ghostly plaster figures installed at a dilapidated church in the Czech Republic, closed-down prisons and asylums, deserted factories …

Since the resounding success of his two earlier volumes, published in 2009 and 2013, Sylvain Margaine still travels the world in search of these forbidden places, forgotten by everyone.

“Like a graffiti artist, he uses his digital reflex camera to capture the soul of these demolished, worn-down places that are doomed to oblivion … thus revealing the forgotten treasures of our heritage.” (Madame Figaro)

“Census-taker of monuments, storyteller of our hidden heritage, Sylvain Margaine is an urban explorer.” (Le Monde)

“Beyond the magnificent images, Sylvain Margaine shares an ephemeral, isolated and condemned urban heritage that lies off the beaten tracks of the city. You, too, will discover these forbidden places!” (Le Soir)

 

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Forgotten Heritage

Forgotten Heritage

Rediscovering our forgotten heritage

‘No Entry’; ‘Dangerous Site Keep Out’; ‘Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted’: common sights on walls or perimeter fences around many of the world’s abandoned sites. These warnings allude to potential dangers and prove an ineffective deterrent against thieves and vandals. To the urban explorer/photographer these signs simply serve to whet the appetite for the promise of hidden wonders that may lie beyond.

For those who ignore the warnings and climb the fences, what awaits is usually worth the risks. Vast industrial spaces that feel more like an alien landscape or poignant residential settings, which are slowly surrendering to the inexorable advance of nature. Places once alive with sound and movement, now silent and still, but no less sensory. Immense and powerful beauty resides in these forgotten places.

For some, just getting inside a location to experience this alternative form of sightseeing is enough to satisfy a desire to simply go where one shouldn’t. But for some there is a need to capture the essence of a location in words and pictures, giving others a metaphorical ‘leg-up’ over the fences, to walk them through the remaining ruins.

Matt Emmett falls into the latter of these groups, travelling regularly to places in the UK and across Europe. He seeks out vast power stations and their cooling towers, steel works, mines, bunkers, tunnels, schools, engine sheds, hotels, castles and a myriad of other buildings. All have their own stories to tell in a variety of voices and without the distraction, sounds and people who inhabited them, those stories are clear and strong and the character of each location is laid bare.

Architectural Digest: « Photographer Matt Emmett has made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries to capture epic imagery of Europe’s most forgotten ruins »

International Business Times: Matt Emmett’s ‘Forgotten Heritage’ photography project uncovers the brutal beauty of abandoned buildings and derelict industry

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