Leisure is a collective work realized by two photographers: Maxime Delvaux and Kevin Laloux.
Leisure is defined by the activity that we do outside the time taken by our usual occupations. It is the activities that we choose to do. Those are of all nature: cultural, sporting, recreational, etc. The idea of this work is to analyze the means used to practice those activities as well as the people involved in them. First of all, in a formal way, through the architecture of these places devoted to leisure and the sites in which they are established.
This work tends to translate into images the infrastructures and architectures developed by a state or a region, to promote a territory and to make a site attractive in a touristic or recreational way. This project is also about public and private places allowing the practice of a leisure activity. What importance does the city leave them, and how are they implanted in the urban landscape?
Further than this formal approach, it is interesting to analyze the use made of these places by people, and the way in which they make those places alive and their own. Photographing these people — in this particular context they have chosen to live — allows us to capture in them something real and personal.
— Maxime Delvaux & Kevin Laloux, Brussels, Belgium
I find a terrible beauty in the machinery of energy development. Over the last century the once vast, empty spaces of the America West have become laden with pipelines, pumps, tanks, towers, and (now), wind turbines and solar arrays. I say “terrible” because of the inherent conflict I find attached to the subject. For me, the machines, as objects, are beautiful feats of engineering and form. On the other hand, the continued encroachment and impact on the land driven by our society’s relentless consumption is harrowing.
What is undeniable is that these devices will undergo a gradual and inevitable deterioration. Over time the original forms, surfaces, textures, and colors of these engineering marvels are altered and degraded by the physical world. Mechanical systems break down, parts break and are discarded, pipelines rupture and are eventually abandoned in place. Decay is the order of the natural world. Ultimately, these energy converters will all arrive at the same state – energy junk, or Monuments to Entropy. But the scars on the land will remain.
So one is left asking: What have we traded away by basing economies on unyielding consumption? What more will we lose by covering deserts with solar panels and mountains, plains, and shorelines with wind turbines? What will the planet look like once it is entirely covered with energy devices? Will this change our collective aesthetic and the way we view Nature? What is the fate of the horizon?
— Kevin O’Connell, Denver, Colorado, USA
The 100 Abandoned Houses project documents one aspect of the remains of a city that has seen its population decline by more than half. At one point Detroit was home to almost 2 million residents, but its population has since fallen to just over 700,000.
Brush Park, once a wealthy enclave on the outskirts of Detroit’s entertainment district, was the area that first caught my attention, and where I first photographed abandoned mansions. For years faded signs had advertised the redevelopment that was about to take place. Around 2000, it finally began to happen, with new condos beginning to appear amidst the rubble of burned-out mansions turned apartments.
As Brush Park began to transform into something new, I realized the other approximately 135 square miles of Detroit was largely ignored. Excitement about Detroit’s “rebirth” took center stage, while much of the rest of the city was becoming largely abandoned. Even Brush Park itself was still largely abandoned, but with the remaining tenants of Brush Park’s buildings being pushed out, and many of the old houses torn down, I moved on to other areas, where Detroiters were attempting to make a life among urban ruins.
— Kevin Bauman, Denver, Colorado, USA