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Picturing Ruin in the American Rustbelt: Andrew Borowiec’s Cleveland: The Flats, the Mill, and the Hills

  • Susann Köhler
Chapter

Abstract

Contemporary postindustrial ruin photography is a photographic genre with historical depth, cultural significance, and aesthetic variety. Postindustrial ruin photographs not only repurpose abandoned places with new symbolic meanings, but also situate forgotten places in a discourse about the cultural meaning of the deindustrialization period. In this chapter, I focus on the city of Cleveland and Andrew Borowiec’s photographic collection Cleveland: The Flats, the Mill, and the Hills (2008) in order to discuss the cultural meaning and symbolism of postindustrial ruins. Borowiec’s photographs subvert the aestheticism that ruin porn critique has expressed (i.e. that ruin photography is merely sensational and exploitative) and help to outline the historic depth of industrial photography, offering a counter-narrative to nostalgic representations of the industrial past.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susann Köhler
    • 1
  1. 1.Georg-August-Universität GöttingenGoettingenGermany

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