Epilogue Toward the Posthuman Ruin

in Untimely Ruins

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780226946634
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226946658 | DOI:
Epilogue Toward the Posthuman Ruin

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The total wars of the twentieth century wrought severe devastation that does not seem to fit with aesthetic or sentimental responses, such as those still evident after the San Francisco earthquake. Those wars left behind ruins that prompted a break with the convention of the seated figure in the foreground calmly contemplating the scene and trying to understand its philosophical meanings. Instead, those ruins were captured in abstracted aerial photographs and in expressionist or surrealist canvases that further enhanced the inhumanity of the landscape. Earlier attitudes toward ruins have also been complicated by the abandonment of industrial infrastructure and the deterioration of urban neighborhoods in the postwar years. Postindustrial and urban ruins have rarely been treated as aesthetic objects. The most prominent photographer to have recently begun to tackle them is Camillo José Vergara.

Keywords: ruins; wars; photographs; urban neighborhoods; devastation; industrial infrastructure; Camillo José Vergara; aesthetic objects

Chapter.  2251 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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