PDN Photo of the Day

The Post-Apocalyptic Landscape of Detroit at Night

While Dave Jordano’s first book about Detroit, Michigan, highlights the resilience of Detroit’s citizens, his second book about the city in which he was born captures the city by night. The images in A Detroit Nocturne, published by powerHouse Books, are portraits of buildings and street scenes devoid of human beings.

“The city’s wound-down vacancy and stillness, lit at night with ominous perspectives, reflects and almost post-apocalyptic tension-yet-calm,” states the press release. Although people don’t appear in the pictures, their presence is felt; lights shine through lone windows, a basketball hoop awaits players on a quiet snowy street, and a headless mannequin beckons something unseen from a desolate intersection.

Before discerning the human elements in the images, “the viewer comprehends only form: lines, light, shadow [and] composition,” predicts the press release. Later, the particularities of the landscape emerge: neon light melding with fog, the flaking paint on a warehouse wall.

A Detroit Nocturne welcomes viewers to shake hands with Detroit, a post-industrial American city of historic highs and lows.

A Detroit Nocturne
Photography by Dave Jordano
Text by Karen Irvine
powerHouse Books
Published April 2018

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