Stages of Decay
This unnervingly poetic collection of photographs by Julia Solis depicts the fading glamour of an entire range of international theaters, ranging from the remnants of ornate movie palaces to shabby vaudeville houses.
In her influential book New York Underground, Julia Solis explored the iconic landscape beneath Manhattan. In this new and equally inspired work, she takes on another kind of icon— crumbling theaters still standing throughout America and Europe. Using abandoned spaces as both subject and canvas, Solis details the theaters’ stages and decorative elements as well as the eerie toll that age and entropy have taken on the formerly elegant surfaces. Where acclaimed performers such as the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Johnny Cash, and the Who once thrilled audiences, Solis now assumes the perspective of the spectator witnessing a different kind of performance. Haunted by the memory of former glory, these locations are sensitively and beautifully captured at a new stage of their existence, one that takes place long after the final curtain has dropped.
“These photographs are haunting and lovely—an ode to what once was, but also an ode to what is.” —Flavorwire
“Solis makes the viewer feel as though they are the last to witness what was once a grand and glorious stage.” —The Business Insider
“The lush, detailed photographs in Stages of Decay evoke Solis’ sense of wonder and mystery about abandoned spaces.” —The Huffington Post
“Solis beautifully captures these [abandoned] spaces in her work, documenting the complexity inherent in falling apart.” —The North Adams Transcript