Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
At the beginning of 2001, I began taking pictures of recently abandoned offices, and the things people had left behind. This project was more than photography for me. It was economic archeology. America has not suffered such a vertiginous economic collapse since the 1930s, and I wanted to document the human cost, while it was happening. There is something very strange about walking into a recently abandoned office. The heavy, Pompeii-like stillness, punctuated only by the occasional sound of the air-conditioning, turning itself on. A coat-hanger waiting patiently for a coat. A limp happy-birthday balloon on the floor. A drawer stuffed with take-out menus. Everywhere, signs of life, interrupted.