Summer 2012: Polaroid Detroit by Tag Christof

Summer 2012: Polaroid Detroit by Tag Christof

Much like every summer, I explore the ruins of my own country. Interstate, fleabag motels and running on a diet of pure roadside grease, I’m convinced there is no beauty as sublime as the sprawling squalor that is America. And since I don’t live here, I can share Baudrillard’s detached disdain for the place while also being wildly, reverently in love with its endlessness, its absurdity, its contradictions.

So after six weeks of hard labor in a Los Angeles architecture school, I set out (by muscle car, of course) with a bag full of vintage film stock and an arsenal of click-click cameras to burn some serious petrol through the sprawling landscape. Destination: Detroit. That down-and-out fighter in the midst of a full-blown cultural renaissance. (More on that later.)

Below are some instant shots, mostly on old Polaroid 669 from the 23-state, 14,000km trek. I can’t wait to see what comes back from the lab.

An idyllic scene of likely genetically-modified crops somewhere in eastern Nebraska.

The ghost of modernism past. An enormous, shuttered shopping mall in St. Louis.

Home sweet Detroit.

Exploring the eerie, abandoned Brewster-Douglass projects – once the home of Diana Ross.

The Blue Whale, smiling since the 1970s in a lovely little bog outside Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tag Christof