Just as the title of this piece suggests, abandoned architecture fascinates professionals in the field and people in general. Hungry to know and learn more about buildings which at some point in history were neglected and finally abandoned (due to a series of known or unknown reasons), there are people who go beyond and try to tell stories about and give voice to these constructions which always have something to say.
Places as diverse as factories, chapels, churches, palaces, or theaters, are the perfect settings for adventurous people who show us these sites visually, aurally, and at their own risk, which are on the verge of collapse.
In a world that is super populated in many corners, yes, there are places that will surprise us thanks to their condition and abandonment.
Take Bryan and Michael as an example, they are a couple of friends who travel looking for these places to explore and take pictures of them. Their project, The Proper People, already has over 130 videos and more than half a million subscribers on their YouTube channel. Where? Most of them in the United States, emphasizing the country’s largest abandoned underground system, Cincinnati’s, or a gothic cathedral with more than 150 years in history; without forgetting about asylums, nuclear plants, and prisons. They explore, tape, and photograph intriguing and disturbing monuments from past times.
They, as other photographers like French Romain Veillon or German Christian Richter, just to mention a couple, realized that these spaces exist in isolation, parallel to everyday life, and through their “experiments” they bring these gems closer to the rest of the world, finding beauty in decadence.
Richter began exploring after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, event that led him to major in Photography. He started his series titled Abandoned in 2011 and it continues to evolve, with Europe as his main approach, with more than 1,000 buildings in his work.
Veillon, on his part, has also felt fascinated by these places from an early age. A travel and photography enthusiast, he specialized in exploring abandoned heritage all over the world. He currently focuses on capturing the beauty in these forgotten and damaged sites, by immortalizing them as if they were frozen in time.
Every picture, every video has their own history and they invite us, all of us, to dive into every space, ghosts of the past included, and lead us to reflect on the relationship between man and his surroundings.