Wednesday, June 20, 2012

on Orientalism and rust.

A fabled city, built on plunder, a crossroads of civilization and trade, a place of learning, a bridge between the east and west, until the wealthy and the powerful sought greener pastures elsewhere, the ignorant maintained a grip on power, the buildings torn down in the name of brutalism and progress and lack of history, now a cultural backwater and byword, of dictators and fundamentalists, strategic but not as important as other places. As a native of a land with a similar pattern of decay, albeit industrial rather than raiders and power struggles, it's hard not to have some kinship with these kinds of locales, to admire the beauty inherent, of times long gone.

 I came across Vasily Vereshchagin's paintings in an art book on Russian Orientalism, and it seems he spent some time here during the 19th century. I can't help but feel like this intriguedness of forgotten locales and decaying architecture is universal. Ruin porn for everyone I guess.


  1. Once we get our very own pile of skulls, I hope it's for a good cause, such as liberation from the skeletal grip of the free stamp.