Kenyon College
 

Bankrupt Project

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Phillip Tolendano_ChairsPhillip Tolendano_phones Phillip Toledano
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Untitled (Teamwork) from the series Bankrupt. 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

 

Untitled (Books) from the series Bankrupt. 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

 

Untitled (Hello) from the series Bankrupt. 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

 

Untitled (Writing Board) from the series Bankrupt. 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

 

Untitled (Picture) from the series Bankrupt. 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

 

Untitled (Chairs). 2004.

C-print.

16 x 20 inches.

The Progressive Art Collection.

There was something very strange about walking into a recently abandoned office. The heavy, Pompeii-like stillness, punctuated 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, there were signs of life, interrupted.

— Phillip Toledano

 

 

Phillip Toledano refers to his Bankrupt series as economic archeology rather than photography, a distinction between pure-craft and motivated documentation that is apparent in these six images. Toledano draws the viewer’s attention not to the debris of an abandoned office. These works highlight the ephemera of the workplace: a family photo, a “Teamwork” poster and an heap of books. Toledano evokes a mood of defeat that speaks. These deserted offices scapes invite us to wonder at the people who left them behind, and the countless offices across America in a similar state that the economic downturn has left in a similar state of disarray. 

 

Phillip Toledano was born in London, though his mother is French Moroccan and his father is American. While he has worked in a variety of mediums, he is best known for his photography which has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times magazine and The New Yorker, among others.

 

 

Caleb Bissinger ’13

Gund Gallery Associate

 
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