Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Roadside Attraction . . .

Another piece to add to the growing collection of evidence. Proof of my strange attraction to the fine art of disintegration. Of objects past their prime. Artifacts proclaiming, "It's all downhill from here." Has beens. Bygones. Suppose you had been invited to a chic gallery in New York City for the opening of a new photographic exhibition and saw these images on the wall, tastefully matted and framed of course, signed at lower right, a numbered, limited edition of fine prints on archival quality art paper, and while you were visually digesting the photo a guy of uncertain age with reddish blonde hair and a faded denim shirt came up beside you and inquired, "So, what do you make of all that?" . . . What would you say ? ? ? And would you think about buying it ? ? ? (yeah, I know, I'm a dreamer)
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So, is there a French automobile expert out there who may be able to identify this carcass ? The photo was taken along the Aisne River, along the base of the hills that rise up to form the sides of the valley, in an area just below what was known as "Le Chemin des Dames", which you may recall is a dreadful name in the domaine of World War One history. Unbelievable slaughter occurred there. I couldn't help but wonder what led to the demise of this poor car and the house behind it. Ruins. We have built up so much in our house of cards universe. But as we have seen recently, many things, institutions, banks, businesses, can come tumbling down faster than they went up. Leaving ruins in their wake. Causing people to migrate. Food supplies to fail. Money to evaporate. There is cause for concern. Where did the owner of this house and car go ? Why were things just left there to rot ? To disappear back into the ground ?
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30 comments:

James said...

Man you always find these cool ruins.
Very nice pictures, I love this kind of stuff.

Have a great weekend Owen!

The Sagittarian said...

Maybe the owners look like that too! (Have left you a drink at mine, but Lynne is lurking about so you might miss out....)

Arnaud said...

Peugeot 304 break.
A priori, elle aurait besoin d'un petit coup de polish ! ;-)
Encore un beau shot !

Arnaud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeff said...

Owen... tu sais bien que les artistes ne sont jamais reconnus pour leur talent !
Ceci dit, je dois être un rêveur aussi car j'ai eu aussi cette réflexion à la vision de peintures réalisées par des personnes qui me sont proches je vais dire ! ! !
Une signature d'un artiste contemporain, tendance, une image numérotée, si c'est de la merde à ton regard, pourquoi l'acheter ? Ne pas confondre business et amour de l'Art ! On peut faire de très bons placements avec des oeuvres dont la valeur augmente avec le temps ! ! !
J'aime bien tout de même tes voitures déglinguées, ces peugeots disparues de la circulation et que tu remets en "circulation" sur le net !
Ne va pas t'imaginer tout de même qu'un "sucker" comme moi t'acheterais ces clichés un fric fou ! ! ! Tu les fais à combien comme prix de départ ? Dis un chiffre... et après on discute !... autour d'une bonne t....e ( table pour les non initiés ! ! ! )...
Ciao amigo ! Si je gagne le jackpot au loto... on s'ouvre une galerie dans la 5ème ! ! !

Amitiés !


Jeff

Mundo Mundaca said...

The rotting is just another apprenticeship of the beauty of the things.
I am the sure that their pictures one day they will be in the walls of a gallery chic in ny to affect the world and to bring more beauty to it.
Hugs
Yasmin

swan said...

You have such a magical way of capturing the world... The title of your blog, "Another Roadside Attraction" reminded me of one of my favorite Tom Robbins novels. I think you would really love this book also. Ok have a beautiful day and thank you for stopping by my blog, I have not written my own stuff there for a while... But the quotes are all ones which are dear to me.

J said...

Perhaps they planned and succesfully carried out a diamond heist and are now living on a secluded Brazilian beach...and occasionally wonder about what happened to their house and car, and miss having cheese and wine in front of the fire on a crisp autumn night...or thank god they never have to endure an northern european winter again.

TechnoBabe said...

Leftovers, discards, scrape. But not waste. Things might be retired from service but not wasted or unwanted. Kind of like us older generation. Smile.
I really like these photos of old cars. How fun to imagine all the trips these cars have taken and the adventures the cars could share.

louciao said...

Reality check: what's holding you back...besides time and money?

Gather a selection of your best photos around certain themes, say 20 images per theme, write up an artist's statement, make a list of galleries specializing in photographic art, and send out proposals to galleries with a CD of the images. What have you got to lose?

However, if you are given a show, you will then have to pay to have the photos mounted, matted, framed and possibly shipped. If the gallery is at a fair distance and you wish to be present in your faded denim shirt, you will have to pay your way over or drive. You will also have to pay at least 40% of the sale price to the gallery. And it is possible that nothing may sell.

But what price glory?!

louciao said...

PS. Have left calendar publishing advice on the post below. My advising bill is in the mail.

Steve said...

Pure disassemblage... and strangely beautiful.

babbler said...

Orange and red greetings to you Owen,
I recently viewed a photo essay of shopping malls long gone and empty commercial buildings that had not heard the sound of a cash register in many moons. This photo reminds me that our human mark on the world lasts about as long as it takes for a morning glory to cover our painstakingly built wall with leaves and beautiful purple trumpets that riffle softly in the breeze: natures best way to signal the end of something and the beginning of something else. Now that's something!
Mrs. Slug

Gaia said...

I love all these old buildings, so much history in them.

Catherine said...

All the ruins around us in our daily lives serve as salutary reminders.... and these ruins are two great such examples...

@eloh said...

Owen, I shopped quite a few photo blogs....you are one of the very best....so why not a calendar or three!!!...sold on your blog....an oddity seems to be that many times your known followers are regular readers...it would give you the money to do the Gallery dream without pulling it from the family money.

-K- said...

there's something so compelling about these kind of photos. You can't help but to think about how transitory everything is although its hard to see it in the present moment.

Owen said...

James, I'm not sure if I find the ruins or if they find me, but there is certainly an underlying spiritual connection there, or perhaps just pure hazard. But in any case, where many might just keep driving, I almost invariably stop to poke around places like this...

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Hay Saj, I think the owners were asleep in caskets in the basement, I made tracks away from there before the sun set, it was creepy... as always your drinks sound delectably delicious and no doubt invigorating... and your dream house photos are great, will get by to comment there too, but I got hung up with Tom Waits on the post before... and as for Lynne lurking, I doubt it, I think she was passed out in the back seat of this car... :-D

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Salut Arnaud, I was hoping you might know, you definitely seem to be an expert in these things. I think it needs more than just polish; maybe some new sheet metal to start with, then some paint, a few coats of lacquer, and then some good heavy wax polish. Some glass in the windows might be nice too, otherwise it may be a bit drafty out on the road... merci bcp ! :-)

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Jeff, la vente n'est pas vraiment la question à présent, c'était de la fiction, l'imagination, comme d'habitude ici... a+

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Chère Yasmin Mundo... a million mercis for your hugs, and your kind words, you are very sweet I think, thanks for dropping in...

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Hi Swan ! Tom Robbins book is exactly what I was thinking about when I put a title on these photos... he's way at the top of my list of writers... I was just reading Wild Ducks Flying Backwards recently. Where are you at this Fall ? Studying ? Anyway, keep cool wherever you are, was browsing your recent quotes last night... and enjoying... I got hooked on Tom Robbins after Still Life With Woodpecker, which is about redheads... and I sort of am one...

Owen said...

J ... omg, I hadn't thought of that. I wonder if they might have dropped any diamonds in the basement, I may have to go back and look more closely. Yeah, they probably drove off into the sunset in a convertible Bentley, leaving the old Peugeot to molder. Was reading about a guy in France who was just sentenced to three months in jail for being drunk behind the wheel of his Ferrari, was having trouble parking it. Why was he in a Ferrari ? He won 26 million euros in the lottery... Anyway, I have more modest ambitions... just to keep on breathing...

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Hey TechnoB., yes indeed, definitely not waste or scrap, for me these finds are pure treasure, if I could haul them home I would, although the best museum for them is where they lie... where everyone can enjoy them.
:-D

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Hi Lynne ! Many thanks for all your suggestions and counsel... certainly is food for thought. As mentioned to Jeff above, the text here was somewhat facetiously fictional, as is most of what I write... but an interesting thought. Don't worry, am not giving up my day job anytime soon. So as soon as I get your bill, the check will be in the mail...
:-D

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Hey Steve, hope your lips are healing, and your toes too, and if you see some strange beauty here, then I am smiling... for that is all I hope to accomplish here... spread a little beauty...

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Dear Mrs Slug, I didn't put it in the body of the text here, but in fact, there was a whole colony of your relatives underneath this car in the dark dank dirt of slug paradise, you can almost make out a crowd of them peering out from just behind the front wheels... Yes, yes, yes, it is absolutely beautiful how nature reclaims objects and buildings. A while back in these pages there was a discussion about trees that eat up all sorts of things by envelopping them with wood... I found a tree near here that is slowly eating a metal sign... This car has a garden started where the motor was under the hood... Hope you and all the slug family are well, my greetings to Mr Slug !!! The title for this post could have been "The Slugmobile"...
:-D

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Hi Gaia, for sure, the mysterious history of such places is what attracts me, and what keeps me dreaming... I'm a total dreamer at heart...

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Hi Catherine, salutory reminders are exactly it... hope all is well where you are in Mexico... I've been dreadful about getting out and around to everyone, but I can see I absolutely must come back over and take a good long moment to catch up with what you've been doing, your Santa Muerte photos look fascinating...

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Hi @eloh, well, guess we'll have to see what is feasible, although I so swamped right now just surviviing that I'm not sure I'm ready to take on more demands on time, already I'm way behind trying to do all the things I want to be doing. Were you able to look up the other Service poem, The Three Bares ?
:-)

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Hey "K", all things must come to pass is the message I suppose, but I just love all the infinity of stages that objects like this car or the house behind it go through on their way to oblivion... it happens so very slowly, yet in geological time its not even a blink... many thanks for dropping by here, loved that last night photo of yours, I can see it with my eyes closed...

jeff said...

Et bien alors...! Je pensais réellement que tu voulais vendre ces clichés ! ! !...8D
Houla...! Je crois que j'en ai trop dit...! Excuse-moi cher Owen !
'bientôt... Je pars sur la pointe des pieds ! ! !

Bonne journée et bon dimanche Owen !
Ciao amigo !

louciao said...

Note to Self: Be sure to keep pickling salt at hand so I can take a large grain of it when reading Mr. Toad's blog.

@eloh said...

Yes Owen, I read the Three Bares, it is great. I had never read it before. Service had a fantastic sense of humor.

ladydi said...

Owen, you do have some amazing photos that well deserve to be tastefully matted and framed in a city gallery . . . but I'm afraid these may not be among them. You know the kind I like; the perfect sunsets over water, the glorious flowers tumbling over a wall, two young animals getting aquainted - all of which I've seen in this very blog!

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

Hey Owen... Scenes like these are great thought catalysts. This scene was no doubt the end of the line for one phase of life... to enter another... renewal, regeneration, a phoenix from the ashes sort of thing. That's what I'd like to think, despite the immediate nagging that this was the real end of the line for someone.
David *

Owen said...

David, I like the way you think... and your ability to read the vibrations of a situation, offering a hopeful solution, tinged with a healthy dose of other possible realities... thanks man...

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Hi Di ! well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess, but these images speak volumes to me, are as much a part of my "book" as some the the lighter prettier stuff...

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@eloh, glad to hear it, yeah he's definitely wonderful. Wish I could have met him just once...

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Note to Lynne's self; Pickling is what life is all about perhaps ? A pinch of salt and plenty of smiles, wistful or otherwise, should be kept at hand for practically all situations in life, not just Mr Toad's blog...

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Mon ami Jeff, j'avoue j'avais un peu du mal à suivre ton raisonnement, en lisant cela après une plus que longue nuit au boulot, il n'y avait rien de concret à faire penser que je mettais ces images en vente... c'était juste une supposition d'une histoire fictive, supposons que ces images étaient dans une galérie, supposons que l'artiste était là à coté de celui que regarde, supposons qu'il y avait une conversation... voilà tout, c'est évident je suppose que ce blog n'est pas un site commercial, et je suis très loin de penser que je vendrais un jour quoi que ce soit de mon "art"... Mais surtout, je ne voulais en aucun sort dénigrer la notion des galéries et ventes des séries numérotés de photos, au contraire, je vois plus que bien l'intérêt pour l'artiste de réussir à mettre ces oeuvres en valeur de cette manière, que je respecte pleinement... je ne sais pas ce qui a pu te faire croire que je peignais cela de façon négative, car ces choses là ne sont point de la m.... à mon égard, loin de là... non, la seule chose ce dont que je me moquais un peu avec le sourire c'est moi-même, le reveur que je suis... Je pense il faudrait y aller un peu mollo parfois, car des écrits peuvent être source de malentendu facilement, quand on ne voit pas le sourire et on n'entends pas le ton de la voix qui parle... C'est peut-être un des dangers des blogs d'ailleurs, on parle bcp dans le vide, parfois les echos qui reviennent se basent sur des transformations inattendues du message original... bref, ce n'est pas grave, tu vois... on pourrait voir tout cela lors de cette fameuse tisane que je suis persuadé va avoir lieu un jour...
;-)

jeff said...

Et pourquoi elle aurait pas lieu un jour ? Owen...! Rassure-moi ! Tu n'es pas un computer ! ! !
Mais tu te démènes bien avec ce que je t'ai dit !...
J'avais tout à fait compris ce dont tu parlais et, au regret de te décevoir, certains artistes abusent de leur signature ! ! ! Voilà tout !
Je ne te connais pas trop Owen, mais je me doute que tu as assez d'humilité en tant que personne !

Bon...! Un jour, je dis bien un jour, si tu m'invites ( ...8D...), nous la partagerons cette fameuse tisane (TM)...! Ceci dit, est-elle fameuse ?

Bonne soirée collègue blogger, collègue de "l'ombre", à l'autre bout de l'ADSL...
Tu sais pas que enfant, j'accompagnais mon père dans cette caisse ! Elle était "vert olive" ! ! ! Tout un programme ! Depuis, je ne sais pas si la couleur est à la mode ?

Bon allez... bonsoir !
Bonne soirée Owen ! ( je me répète ! )
Ciao !...;-)
Et remet encore s'il te plait des voitures qui ne circulent plus en circulation ! Cela ravive les bons souvenirs ! Ciao Amigo !

clo said...

Howdy Owen...:)
merci pour ton joli commentaire ...ça m'a fait plaisir...
je voulais te dire que j'ai adoré ton post: Behind closed door...
superbe....
quand a tes photos de voiture jardin c'est tres bon ...les voitures ne devraient servir qu'a ça...pots de fleurs...toutes ces bagnoles partout...qui fument qui crachent qui puent...j'aime celle ci...désaffectée...comme un bon vieux souvenir..
la voiture a été le premier moyen d'émancipation de la femme....
un truc dont on ne peut pas se passer ...
bon une petite tisane avec jeff...
tilleul ce soir ça calme les esprits....:o)
bises owen....
toutes mes amitiés....

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Bonjour Owen Les photos très belles, je peux presque voir le fantôme se reposant dans les fenêtres de maison, attendant quelqu'un pour fixer la voiture ! À la votre ! Harry

Owen said...

Salut Clo ! merci à toi, tes photos sont vraiment splendides... content si tu as bien aimé les chiens et chat qui regardent sous leurs portes respectives... et oui, tisane tilleul, pourquoi pas, excellente idée...

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Hey Harry, not sure I realized you speak French too... ah fabuleux, le coup de phantome par la fenêtre, je suis sûr qu'il est là quelque part... à bientôt Harry, merci d'être passé !

Roxana said...

excellent pictures, i love the soft hues of grey which tell this story of slow decay...