By Christian Kasners
Woodward Avenue is one of Detroit’s big avenues that lead from downtown to the wealthy suburbs. The photographs in the book Woodward (2015) were taken partly on foot and partly from the window of a moving car. The pictures I took during a stay in January 2015 focused on social and economic circumstances and how they can be condensed and become visible through photography. The street as a point of reference hints at the dimensions of the city; the condition of buildings mirrors the social situation as impeded by economic realities; objects reveal traces of use.
Taking pictures from a moving car references Detroit’s history as the origin of the automobile, the historically close connections between photography and the street, and the ways in which the cityscape is constructed in terms of its visibility to motorists. What becomes visible is, however, not only buildings rushing by. Rather, inheriting the movement of motorization and suburbanization, the pictures animate the automobile’s history of shaping the city.