Forgotten ruins: Tartu, Orthodox Russian Church
November 2014
The photographic project Forgotten Ruins shows a selection of unused, ignored, forgotten human spaces... which make us aware of the passage of time and the fragility of our existence. Manel Clemente’s attraction to photograph the absence was reflected in Ghost Towns, a documentary work started in 2011, about the consequences of the economic and housing crisis, also known as "housing bubble" that Spain suffered from late 2007. Forgotten Ruins, started in 2012, is the natural evolution of the Ghost Towns project. The author, who has managed to capture the magic of oblivion and neglect, decides to stop searching for the news and tries to discover anonymous spaces where time has stopped for years. The locations, most of the close to Barcelona area have been classified into three categories -workspaces, recreational spaces and housing- and are presented with a certain aseptic vocation. Depending on the photographed areas and their nature Manel Clemente’s pictures subtly speak of the loss, the absence, the failure ... Factories that have not survived the market's capricious twists, swimming pools and water parks forced to closing due to their lack of profitability, resorts and houses that have succumbed to unsuccessful estate transactions... All of them unfortunate areas, which have had a past full of joy by work, fun and wellness and now are doomed to oblivion or visited by graffiti lovers, fans of parapsychology or some homeless that seek for refuge.
From November 2014 Manel Clemente starts to discover new abandoned spaces outside Catalunya. These photos have been taken in Tartu, Estonia and show an abandoned Orthodox Russian Church which had been used as cinema in Soviet time.
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