Friday, January 29, 2010

Requiem for the Mall

It is the ideal location for a post-modern horror, this shopping mall with no shoppers in the days before Christmas. It starts directly with the entrance: a vast, deserted parking lot, an entrance above the red neon lights only on one side burns. Inside: empty corridors. The canned voice of Julie Andrews echoes through the deserted room, the only sign that something is alive. Her "favorite things", snowflakes on eyelashes, should be included in this dreary mausoleum apparently a Christmas shopper evoking. Like the lighted Christmas tree, which is sadly behind a locked iron gate. And the chair for Santa Claus, empty, unfortunately.The fat boy smiling in nowhere in sight. Two boys on skate boards through the cracks passages along the closed shops, desolate, dark spaces in a covered street. Middle of the mall is a lonely bubble gum machine. "Everybody is a winner," the mechanical voice calls ever again luring child Merlin. But there are no children.

"Spooky, huh," cries the boy with a huge mess of the trash clean up imaginary shoppers. I nod. It is certainly creepy. My mate thinks differently, he is in his element. Brian Florence (32) is one of the founders of the website Malls are Brians hobby. As an amateur archaeologist, he digs into a consumer culture gone. "That was an Arby's," he points to a closed fast food restaurant. He recognizes it to the decoration and a dusty sign with the prices of chicken sandwiches. Not eaten here, the whole food court is closed.