May 6th, 2013


Resorts Reborn in Decay

Here's another look through the eyes of a photographer of the decaying Catskills resorts:

“Nature was reclaiming the spaces,” she said. “You would see an entire room filled with a carpet of moss. Then there was vandalism, people gutting the buildings for wiring and other metal, anything they could take. Then there were squatters and taggers. Then paintballers, who put their own marks on the places. I began to see that these hotels were taking on new life.”

Using a strategy of “rephotography” advanced by the photographer Mark Klett, who recreated iconic scenes of the American West, Ms. Scheinfeld started revisiting scenes from Catskills postcards and other photographs, then wandering wherever her eye took her. The results are portraits of destruction as well as rebirth, now numbering almost 100 photographs, which she hopes to publish as a book.

“I didn’t want to make the pictures all about decay,” she said. “I see beauty and growth in the pictures as well. The decay is linked to a cycle of regeneration. There’s something still there, even if people think it’s washed away.”