Monday, July 9, 2012

Forbidden Factory Fruits . . .

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While in Italy in June, we were out wandering around one afternoon when we stumbled on an abandoned factory purely by chance. I had been secretly hoping something like this might happen, but it remained a sort of distant hope, as I hadn't done any research, and we weren't actively seeking such places. But if we didn't find it, it certainly found us.
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I took a first long look at it under a blue Italian sky, took in the gutted windows and collapsing roof, and said, "yes, yes indeed, this is exactly what I've been looking for..."
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And it seemed to answer by giving off a flare of burnt sienna golden light . . .
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A smokestack stood still in a field gazing up through its one good eye at the heavenly blue depths of the sky...
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The geometry of abandoned architecture stood stark in the streaming late afternoon sunlight...
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A gaping green door was beckoning, partially obscured by brambles...
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I fought my way through to find myself in someone's living room, the sofa had seen better days...
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They had lawn chairs, and even a television set...
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Windows had been bricked up, blocking a bit of the view...
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Odd gadgets hung from the walls...
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Perilous stairs led to upper levels, not for the faint of heart...
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A work of modern art caught my full attention, Pollock could hardly have done better...
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Floor tiles partially covered by debris formed more modern art...
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From the highest floor visible in the first photo above, a room with a view...
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More perilous stairs...
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Heaven only knows what went on in a box like this, perhaps better not to know...
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On the upper floors one had to be very careful where one stepped, as holes like this were plentiful, often with long drops below them...
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More geometry of the abandoned, in subtle colors...
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The end of a roof...
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No smoking...
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I don't know exactly what was in this large pile of paper sacks, I wasn't tempted to get too close or to stir up the dust on the floor...
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If photographed with infrared film I imagined they might have appeared almost radioactive...
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Some kind soul had left a message, a statement, a wish ?
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28 comments:

French Girl in Seattle said...

Ah, Owen. Du grand art, vraiment :-) This is pure Mr Toad: Poetry, imagination, a great eye for detail, and a definite taste for adventure and exploration. A very enjoyable read. I felt better when I found out you had made it out of there safe and sound... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle) PS: Glad you enjoyed my modest "dédicace" from Nice, France :-)

Steve said...

Definitely a builder-upper...

temporal rooms said...

how exciting being in this old building. one could spend days there,
looking, learning and feeling the ghosts brush by.
great photographs Owen.

~robert

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Quand je vois des photos d'urbex, cela me fait toujours très envie! J'aime l'idée d'aller explorer des lieux comme ceux-là appareil en mains!

Merci pour cette chouette exploration

James said...

You are very talented at bringing life to dead places and for that I'm grateful!

Roxana said...

the essence of your art, right here! magnificent... the play of light, always fresh, speaking to our eyes of beginnings, when everything around is slowly crumbling to death... beginning and end, the eternal story...

Laurie said...

My God, Owen! You had a lucky escape. Diatom Powder (Diatomaceous Earth) kills Red Mites on Chickens!

Laurie

Robert Geiss said...

Make one hold breath.

English Rider said...

That's one of the cosiest abandoned factories I've ever seen. And you're completely bonkers to risk going upstairs!

Owen said...

Hi Véronique, hoping you had a fine trip back across pond and continent to the far northwest. Grand merci pour ce petit mot qui me fait très plaisir. Tu sais que je suis toujours tout à fait touché que tu as voulu emprunter mes quelques phrases concernant les commentaires sur les blogs. Et oui, une usine abandonée, ou une maison abandonée, elles m'attirent comme peu d'autre choses dans la vie. Ce sont des lieux forts de poésie et philosphie, des messages à lire en profondeur, lentement, en regardant bien tout ce que l'évolution dans le temps peut apporter...
Amitiés

PS la prochaine fois que tu débarques en France il faudrait peut-être songer à faire un petit passage à Chantilly pour voir le Château et goûter un peu de crème de Chantilly au hameau du château... :-)

Owen said...

Steve, or a burner-downer as some like to say... A wrecking ball might be the best solution... And then a grand tower could be built on the spot to rival London and Dubai...

Owen said...

Hi Robert, a pleasure to read you, indeed the ghosts were plentiful here, could hear them rattling chains in hidden rooms and in dark cellars. Couldn't help wondering if some of the ghosts were the result of asbestos or silica contamination...

Am sure you would enjoy this place, textures of dilapidation in abundance, though it had been stripped relatively bare. Ah, if only we could travel in time and go back to see ancient factories as they were abandoned decades ago, if not centuries... what I would give...

Owen said...

Chère Chrys, il y a peu d'endroits aussi satisfaisants de découvrir, et l'épice de l'interdit en plus, la petite voix qui dit tout bas, ooh là, que fais-je si la police arrive, appelée par un voisin protecteur et conscientieux. Bon, ce n'était pas le cas, mais ça rajoute un peu de tension dans l'histoire. Sans parler des ascencions sur des escaliers douteux et tremblants... :-)

Mais si tel est ton désir, j'espère qu'il y a quelques sites à explorer pas trop loin de chez toi. Certains gens voyagent loin pour aller explorer de tels trésors...

Owen said...

Hey James, for sure, these seemingly dead places need all the help they can get to carry on their existence and proclaim their inner light to the wider world, am most grateful to have been able to participate however briefly in communing with this lost architectural soul, which is probably destined for the wrecking ball and bulldozer before too long... and no doubt such dead places are grateful for visitors...
:-)

Owen said...

Dear Roxana, the essence indeed, the alpha, the omega, the serpent swallowing its own tail, the soul, the ethereal, the bricks and mortar, confronting us with the inescapable realities of cycles of birth and regeneration followed sooner or later by deterioration, destruction, death, then recycling. A building, a planet, a galaxy, the universe, there is little difference, perhaps only in the time scales at play.

Hoping all is well with you and the little one and books and papers and visions, reflection, camera, magic...

Owen said...

Hi Laurie, incredible news... you spurred me into looking further ! And here I was wondering why all my fleas and lice had deserted me that day !
:-)

But apparently it can even have some beneficial effects for humans :

http://www.morethanalive.com/Diatomaceous-Earth-Food-Grade-Powder

Am kicking myself now for not having brought a sack or two out on my back that day to bring them home; probably cheaper than going to the health food store. :-)

Interesting though, I'd never heard of the health benefits claimed on that web site for ingesting silica... may have to give it a try...

Owen said...

Tag Robert... perhaps some scuba apparatus would be useful to avoid having to hold breath ?
:-)

Owen said...

Bonjour ER,
Very cosy indeed, la grenouille was just saying to me she wants a sofa like that one (in better condition of course). But I couldn't get the television set to work...

As for being bonkers, well, I'm afraid I was condemned to that fate from birth. I see a set of stairs like that and I just can't resist, the mystery of what may be at the top is simply too much for me.

martinealison said...

De belles captures photographiques...

Gros bisous.

Stickup Artist said...

Whenever you do one of these kinds of posts, I just get so scared thinking about you climbing to the top of such a dangerous place. But then I realize, here you are, in one piece, and I can sit back, relax, and take it all in: the textures, colors, odds and ends, broken windows, remnants of lives passing thru, the passing of time, and ultimately, abandonment. Sobering but beautiful reality. A landscape of the human condition...

Stickup Artist said...

Whenever you do one of these kinds of posts, I just get so scared thinking about you climbing to the top of such a dangerous place. But then I realize, here you are, in one piece, and I can sit back, relax, and take it all in: the textures, colors, odds and ends, broken windows, remnants of lives passing thru, the passing of time, and ultimately, abandonment. Sobering but beautiful reality. A landscape of the human condition...

Peter Olson said...

Yes, from the name on the bags, I also discovered what they probably contain.

Having done some exploring with you, I imagine very well how you escalated these not very safe looking stairs, with a nervous Grenouille watching you.

Well, you managed of course to make art of it all!

Catherine said...

serendipity - what an amazing find - and love that infra red shot...

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Another adventure savored, survived, and shared.

louciao said...

I can only echo Peter Olson's thoughts: what the heck is La Grenouille doing while you are scrambling about, risking life and limb?

My Italian is limited to the point of non-existent but I know the word "cattivo" and it is one to stay away from, as it means bad. Paired with "gusto" it seems to indicate "bad taste." So in that double-doored warehouse classification system as shown in the fifth photo from the bottom, one seems to have the choice of an unnatural warehouse (magazzino denaturato) or one of bad taste. Definitely a tough call.

I love the sofa.

The Sagittarian said...

Very brave of you to even go into that old building! I reckon you could rent out that smoke stack - for the next Pope choosing perhaps??

lgsquirrel said...

An award was spotted at the Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel with your name on it!

Lydia said...

Remarkable, Owen. It surely did find you, as you may have been the only person in the country who would have found beauty in the decay. And you sure did find beauty. Thank you for showing it to us.