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in Filmmaking
on Apr 28, 2008

The BLDGBLOB has a great post entitled “Hotels in the Afterlife” that is very J.G. Ballard — a series of shots of abandoned hotel exteriors on the Sinai peninsula, “monuments to failed investment.” Based on a photography show that opened last week in Vienna by Sabine Haubitz and Stephanie Zoche.

From Geoff Manaugh’s blog post:

The hotels now look more like “architectonic sculptures” in the desert, the photographers claim, or derelict abstractions, as if some aging and half-crazed billionaire had constructed an eccentric sculpture park for himself amongst the dunes.

The billionaire goes for long walks at night alone amongst the ruins, sweeping dust from recent sandstorms off windowsills and open doorways.

At night, when the stars come out, different constellations are framed by unglazed windows, as if justifying these concrete forms from above with the poetic force of celestial geometry.

Or, for that matter, five years from now these deserted monuments simply disappear – but because they’ve been put to use, finally, enwrapped with drywall and plaster, fitted out with drapes and marble floors, and you can sleep inside them for $300 a night, never even dreaming that these hotels were once ruins, temporarily abandoned to the sand and only recently reclaimed.
The empty swimming pool is now full – and you dive into it, unaware that you’re more like a ghost than a tourist, haunting the afterlife of these sites in bleaching sunlight.

Make sure to read the great comment thread, in which various responders discuss the reasons for the abandonment of these structures as well as other similar spots around the world.

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