Posts Tagged ‘abandoned buildings’

Gigi Cifali’s Absence of Water

Published September 8, 2009 by Graham

gigi-cifali

The mouldering, decrepit swimming pools in photographer Gigi Cifali’s series Absence of Water are hauntingly sublime relics of another era, remnants of a vibrant past. Many of the pools she eulogizes in her somber images were built at the height of Britain’s public baths craze of the 1930s, falling out of favor in the latter part of the century until declining attendance forced many of them to shut down.

While dozens of these pools have been demolished since the Thatcher era, Cifali has been documenting the remaining pools like an archeologist of the very recent past, presenting these fallen beauties in all of their forlorn enigmatic glory.

See Also: Mike Tyson’s Sad Pad and Saddam’s Crumbling Palaces.

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Scenes From a Secret Robot Short

Published August 26, 2009 by Graham

Spike has been hard at work on a top secret robot-related short film. When Dallas and I visited the set, the first person we bumped into was Family owner David Kramer (more on Kramer in Lance Bang’s doc Family Portrait), furiously memorizing a verse of lyrics inscribed on his palm in a parking lot beneath the freeway. Kramer, a non-musician who had joined the project only one day earlier, was preparing to play the lead singer in a fake band called The Lost Trees, alongside the members of Moonrats.

Miranda July showed up and the four of us made our way through the vast maze of a fantastically decaying abandoned building to the room where Spike was setting up The Lost Trees’ big show. Waiting for the shoot to begin in earnest, Dallas and I decided to explore the building’s musty labyrinthine corridors. Scattered remnants left over from other Hollywood productions blurred unsettlingly with authentic artifacts from the location’s functional former life as a ballroom hall/radio station.

After conquering the rooftop with its epic vistas and then descending to the depths of the building’s eerily Saw-esque basement, we returned to the set and found “The Rec Center” now occupied by a couple of radical robots adrift in a roaring sea of extras feigning their fandom for The Lost Trees. Check out the photos above to see David Kramer embracing his inner rock star, Spike and Miranda talking shop, weird finds from our backstage explorations, and Lance Bangs shooting documentary footage in his trademark visor.

Keep an eye out for the short’s premiere in November and the unveiling of Spike’s new robotic stars!

Abandoned Opulence: Mike Tyson’s Sad Pad

Published May 1, 2009 by Graham


In honor of Tyson, James Toback’s acclaimed new documentary (it won a prize at Cannes called “Un Certain Regard Knockout Award”– which I guess is a real thing?) about the titular heavyweight boxing champion’s fall from grace, we’re posting images of Mike Tyson’s abandoned Ohio mansion. These photographs are the result of various intrepid explorers’ pilgrimages to the melancholy ground zero of Tyson’s downward spiral. Less of a house and more a cavernous, hollow reminder of the volatile boxer’s former glory, the space remains frozen in time, eerie in its emptiness.

Might this forsaken estate, with its vacant tiger cages, be foreshadowing the inevitable decline of American indulgence? Could scenes like these become common in the wake of our current financial woes? Is this a harbinger of doom for excessively extravagant cribs? Probably not– there’d be a full-on civil war before the upper upper crust ditches their cribs– but it’s still a stunning, humbling experience to set eyes upon photographs of such massive, tangible loss.