The truth I’m trying to present is one about site-specific forgetting. If our history is a history of forgetting how to remember the past, as I am arguing, then the city of Detroit is the engine of our conflicted deliverance. It’s the machinery we’ve used for particular acts of forgetting, each connected to the place and time where the forgetting got done. — Places Journal
This week on Places, two features by Detroit residents contextualize the city's ruins.
In "The Forgetting Machine: Notes Toward a History of Detroit," Jerry Herron reflects on the decline of Hudson's and the improbable hopefulness of the retrofitted car park in the Michigan theater. He critiques two recent books of ruin photography and offers an alternate reading of the city as a machine for forgetting.
In "Detroit Re-Photography," Dave Jordano presents a slideshow of Detroit buildings and landscapes photographed in the early 1970s and in 2010. Photo editor Aaron Rothman notes that Jordano's then-and-now images "implicate us in the changes they depict," and work as a kind of antidote to the cool aestheticism of ruin porn.