“Ruins are an incredible world where we no longer know if it’s reality sliding towards a dream, or rather a brutal return from a pleasant dream to violent reality.” A manifesto that introduces Yves Marchand (b. 1981) and Romain Meffre’s (b. 1987) first piece of work, a magnificent homage to the relics of old Detroit. In 2005, the two young French photographers embarked on a tour of the ruins of “Motor City”, a 21st-century Pompeii, where they scoured abandoned factories, decrepit ballrooms and crumbling hospitals. One image stands out: that of the Michigan Theater, a grandiose building in a French Renaissance style, built in the Hollywood golden age before being transformed into a parking lot in the late 1970s. The empty “movie palace”, worn out from top to bottom, perfectly embodies the fall of an empire and the fleeting impression of a long-gone golden era of moulding and varnish that has disappeared into the dust of old America.