Friday, August 12, 2011

The Art of Bankrputcy

I recently stumbled across Phillip Toledano’s series of photographs on bankruptcy.

Taken in 2001 at the beginning of America’s long slide into recession and the first collective realization that the age of the Internet was not a utopian rocketship, Toledano documents the most visible scars of the economy: abandoned office buildings.

With his amazing aesthetic eye, Toledano captures the capriciousness of time; the disposability of consumer culture; the faux sentimentality of office culture; the transparently empty displays of corporate teamwork, caring, and other vapid slogans.

Above all there is an unnerving emptiness to these photos with its eerie sense of fresh decay with its whispers of a previous life filled with small talk, bureaucracy, and semi-permanence.

Toledano puts it best when he writes, “There was something very strange about walking into a recently abandoned office. The heavy, Pompeii-like stillness…A coat-hanger waiting patiently for a coat. A limp happy-birthday balloon on the floor…Everywhere, there were signs of life, interrupted.”

Have a look at a few of my favorites below or head to his site to view more from this series.

Also, be sure to check out his other works as well. In particular “A New Kind of Beauty” and “Phonesex” are fascinating photographic sets with great intellectual depth behind them grappling with how technology and modernity affects love, self-esteem, beauty, sex, and other pertinent issues. 

No comments:

Post a Comment