Reading the ruins | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review
Ruins are a reminder of architecture’s transience, but they also embody often contested projections of meaning and memory
When the American artist Ryan Mendoza recently acquired a small abandoned house in Detroit, he had no intention of living there. Aided by crowdfunding, he dismantled it and shipped it to Europe as his contribution to the 2016 Rotterdam art fair. Extracted with forensic precision like an eroded tooth from a carious urban milieu, the transplanted dwelling was marooned forlornly on a hardstanding next to the fair’s exhibition halls. Its ‘authentically’ decayed state was seen as a testament to the precarious condition of Detroit and, by implication, America as a whole.