This photograph is part of Mitch Epstein’s series Family Business, which traces the decline of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a once-prosperous industrial town, through the example of his own family’s waning fortunes. The series becomes a metaphor for many small American towns in flux, depopulated and with jobs in short supply.
Walls darkened by soot, Apartment 304, 398 Main Street shows a building belonging to Epstein’s father that was condemned after a fire. Yet the image also forms a stunning still life—an emblem of the fragility of life.
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