01 October 2012

Habitat #3

Work by photographer Dan Dubowitz, shot last year in Brazil, for the series "Fordlândia," which is apparently the first in a trio of projects to appear under the title Megalomania. The title and location refer to Henry Ford's aborted attempt at setting up an industrial town for rubber harvesting in the heart of the Amazon. As author Joe Jackson writes in the text that accompanies the photos:

"In describing his project, Ford asserted he would transform the world's rubber industry and save Brazil's economy in a single stroke; he would civilize the wilderness, a task that would stretch through the generations to his sons and grandsons. To dramatize the venture, he planned to drop from the clouds like a god, flying into Amazonia aboard his friend Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. In 1928, Lindbergh planned a 9,000-mile tour of Latin America in Spirit, and was more than willing to take Ford along. A midwestern bungalow was built for Ford's use, with all the comforts of home. Lindbergh made the trip -- but Ford never came."

The enterprise quickly languished, ceasing operations, with Ford's grandson selling off the plantation's two-and-a-half million acres at an estimated loss of about $20 million in 1945.

And yes, I posted about some of Dubowitz's prior work a good while back, in relation to his series "Fascismo Abbandonato." Trained as an architect at Sheffield University, Dubowitz has a acute fascination with abandoned environments, with disused spaces that history has left behind. To view more of his work, have a look at Dubowitz's web site.

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