Since completing their seminal work, Ruins of Detroit (Steidl, 2010), Marchand and Meffre have dedicated considerable energy to Industry, an ongoing project documenting the rise and fall of the industrial landscapes of the West.
These images are evidence of our footprint on the earth, they document the relics we leave behind from our endeavours; the shape of the past, the feel of history, an impression of an era on our minds, the ghosts of men, modernist shapes rising out of the ground that once were once beacons of technological achievement, testaments to our advancement. Now these cathedrals of industry lay shattered, broken and forgotten, tombs to man’s hubris, a reminder that nothing lasts forever, a reminder that we all will perish and rot one day. By capturing images of our shared past, Marchand & Meffre not only explore the beauty of decay and our curiosity of the past. The work by the French duo also challenges us to explore the social issues of our time. Donald Trump, contemporary American politics, the advance of China as a world power – so much of our reality is about the rise and fall of industry. The architecture of Industry is a physical embodiment of the energy, reality and vision of an era. This architectural zeitgeist can tell us so much about who we were, who we are and who we are becoming. The story of industry is the story of modern history.
The exhibition focuses on industrial landscapes of the West, but also seek to examine Yves and Romain's practice more generally.