Forgotten Homes in Chris Mottalini’s Poignant Series ‘After You Left, They Took It Apart’

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

After You Left, They Took It Apart is the title of a series of images taken by the New York based photographer Chris Mottalini. Showing a collection Paul Rudolph-designed homes just before they were to be demolished, the series took Mottalini almost seven years to complete and presents a poignant picture of mid-century modernism at the end of its life.

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

Recently published as a book, the series demonstrates an apathy for mid-century American architecture and a shameful disregard for preservation. Writer Allison Arieff claims that Paul Rudolph has been one of the hardest hit in terms of preservation, with many of his Brutalist-inflected homes either under threat or already demolished. In many ways, Mottalini’s photographs are the only preservation that these buildings have.

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

For me, they are a poignant tribute to mid-century modernism and a haunting reminder that nothing lasts forever. In addition, they also open up a rich debate regarding the importance of preservation and the relevance of people’s personal tastes over the importance of historic legacy (simply read the comments in Arieff’s article to see what I mean).

You can view the full series of images on Mottalini’s site or order a copy of the book from either Amazon or The University of Chicago Press.

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

Chris Mottalini - After You Left

Philip Kennedy

August 28, 2013 / By

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