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Poetry of Transience - Lost Places in the USA
by Heribert Niehues
Lost Places - America as you rarely see it
They are in stark contrast to the pulsating cities that shape our image of the USA: ruins, ghost towns and lost places. There is something eerie about these deserted places, but also a certain fascination that you cannot escape when you look at the photos by Heribert Niehues. His impressive pictures trace the stories of the people who once lived here. What made you leave everything behind? In his unusual illustrated book "Poetry of Transience", the photographer provides insights into a bygone era:
On the trail of the past
Everything is still there today as it was left on the day the business was closed: gas stations in which rust-eaten car wrecks are waiting for their last tank of fuel, dinners and motels that are still fully furnished but whose roof is already collapsing, residential buildings that are still in front of them the USA flag flapping in the wind. Only nature and the weather change the image of these lost places.
The USA is shaped by mobility like hardly any other country: railways and covered wagons have been replaced by planes and automobiles. However, the rapid development did not only bring growth. New and faster superhighways that emerged from the 1950s left old routes forgotten and led past once-flourishing small towns. Economic crises and catastrophic weather phenomena - think of the "Dust Bowl" of the 1930s - gave rise to deserted areas and ghost towns.
These lost places are today silent witnesses of unknown fates, to which Heribert Niehues has set a memorial in his extraordinary America illustrated book.
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