What does it look like to stand in the same spot for 40 years? ⇒

   13 October 2016, early morning

Camilo José Vergara has spent more than forty years photographing and rephotographing the same forgotten corners of American cities. From crumbling housing blocks in the Bronx and an abandoned Detroit mansion, to dwindling row houses in Camden and the many lives of a Los Angeles baptist church. In all cases Vergara eschews the monumental to focus on a city’s discreet pockets. Returning year after year to the same positions, he regenerates images even as the structures in front of his lens decompose and are reborn in a cycle of photographic renewal. Architecture given shape by time and neglect takes on an organic quality—a reminder that edifices are as temporary as the lives they shelter. Vergara’s urban generation loss depicts fluid cities as a mirror of the present aging into obsolescence. Ultimately his images force a reckoning with death, confronting our inability to grasp the undercurrents relegating urban space and time.

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