Ardine Nelson
2008 Guggenheim Fellow
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City Center Mall

Built in the late1980's to bring upscale shopping to the declining downtown area of Columbus, Ohio, the City Center Mall was a successful enterprise for nearly 16 years.  Over the last several years the stores have followed the consumers, moving on to the new shopping centers located in suburban areas.  During cold weather, the mall has been burning some of the interior store lights to heat the building structure. I photographed the abandoned stores from the exterior, gates down and doors closed. These images reveal the interior structures stripped of any items for sale.  In some spaces one can discern the type of items that formerly were for sale while other stores become complete mysteries.  This body of work is much like a landscape or garden where regeneration, reuse, new growth in the spring is (hopefully) about to occur.  However, this is not part of what could be seen as a normal recycling timetable for such structures, it is perhaps an early indication of the cultural and financial crisis we are now experiencing. 
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