Project info

From 2004 to 2008, Jeffrey Stockbridge photographed neighborhoods littered with abandoned houses in Philadelphia, PA. Although this was at the beginning of the U.S. mortgage crisis, Stockbridge’s photographs have little to do with it. His large-format color photographs depict the interiors of crumbling houses that have been abandoned for years, sometimes decades. Bathed in natural light, the photographs- printed at 40x50 inches in shadowbox frames without glass, resemble richly saturated paintings. Photographing in the early morning and late afternoon, the quality of light inside the dark interiors has a spiritual presence, evoking the lives of past occupants. Stockbridge also photographed the personal artifacts left behind such as letters and family photos. These items reveal bits and pieces of real lives, moments once preserved and then forgotten. Lastly, Stockbridge turns his camera on the individuals who remain- the holdouts who wouldn’t leave the neighborhood and those who moved into the abandoned rooms, claiming them as their own. The final series of pictures comes together to tell a story of life and death in the ghetto and the fleeting memories that still exist.