by Pauline Jurado Barroso

University: Université Jean-Monnet, Saint-Etienne (member of Université de Lyon)
Course: PhD
Year of graduation: 2016
Thesis: Photographing modern ruins as a witness of recent urban planning history
Contacts: pauline.jurado[at]gmail[dot]com | website


Abstract: The « Defunctionalization » of architecture completely transforms the reading of the object : traces of erosion have a symbolic and expressive charge that modifies its interpretation. «Modern ruins» refer to early obsolescence, characteristic of the industrialization of building process which encourages the substitution of old things by new ones and increase destructions. They are closely linked to progress and the acceleration of urban renewal. Tower blocks of social housing appear to be the ultimate symbols of modern structures threatened by destruction; their monumentality and weakness intrigue and fascinate. How could artistic photography offer a critical contribution that changes the way we gaze at ruins as a component of actual urban landscape? It seems that reconsidering ruins through creation is possible. The subject matter of this thesis is not the ruin itself but its representations through photography. It’s not about proposing a methodology neither a guide to photograph ruins, but to present some questions that arises from photographic practices of derelict spaces as spatial, cultural and sensitive experiences.

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, La Rivière, Saint-Étienne, 2016

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, Alfred E. Smith Housing, New York, 2013

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, Silo N°5, Montréal, 2013

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, Ailly-sur-Noye, 2013

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, Ferndale, Rhymney Valley, 2014

© Pauline Jurado Barroso, Avenida Boavista, Porto, 2011


To browse more from Thesis Project Archive click here. Contacts and submissions are welcome at