The project, ‘A Bustling Metropolis: The Photobook’ by Rachel Cannon explores a city where a large number of businesses are closed, either for lease or abandoned. These businesses were once thriving, however, could not keep up with the realities of owning a business, whether due to high rent, not enough customers, or a combination of factors.
These colour images display these storefronts in a myriad of ways – a closed storefront with a ‘For Lease’ sign prominently featured, boarded up windows, a reflection of a thriving building in the windows of an empty store, an empty building where the audience can see discarded mail on the floor through the glass. These images invoke feelings of melancholy in the viewer, as they can tell that what they are seeing used to be a common place for staff & customers alike, but is now left to collect spiderwebs & dust. If viewers are from the area, they may even remember passing by the store in its’ prime, or even stopping in to make a purchase. The closer the viewer is to the city, the more effect these images will have.
Rachel Cannon has always been interested in the quiet romance of abandoned places, appreciating the silent despondency of what has been forgotten. This particular project came to fruition when the artist passed the restaurant they used to work that had gone into bankruptcy, seeing the cocktail specials on the blackboard as sharply written as they had been almost two years before when it closed. This sparked memories of what the business had been like when they worked there, & they began to think about the staff that used to work at other closed businesses, empathising with them. This photobook will hopefully allow audiences to commiserate, also.