Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Still-life at the D.L.Edgerton Fresh and Frozen Seafood Warehouse

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:   Holding the door, my friend said, "Step inside," and we entered the seafood warehouse. How slow the retreat! A broken window today and a door left open until the windows become mere formalities. A coil of wire hung on the wall cradles the leaves of an empty bird's nest. Baby mice squirm amid shavings in the pencil drawer, the rusty steel of the stapler safely contained two bins away.  Nuts, planted like grenades, dry and crack before they are ever eaten and the clawing grip of winter ice delves and rakes every crevice loosening mortar and all.

The warehouse had been plundered. Two altars of concrete stood at the head of a long row of insulated chambers. I'd seen altars like that before. At one time there was probably a compressor anchored on each altar to drive the refrigeration. Compressors and pipe were gone, the studs that held them, rusted and bent.  A corner of the roof had collapsed, and spring sunlight splashed on the stained slab floor beside the altars.

By inside, we usually refer to a hallowed place where nature is compelled to follow strict house rules. Here nature rioted. We like to think that there is "inside," and then there is everything else in nature. Inside rodents and vermin are banished, and even plants must remain properly potted.  

A workshop held an assortment of rubbish that seemed to have little relation to seafood, but suggested real work went on here once, but even old saw blades and chisels were becoming mulch, the old order collapsing entirely; the distinction between inside and outside was almost gone. As we shot I'd like to think the spirits of those who had worked here were finally letting go of the old rubbish.