"Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints."
Enter into "Decaying History" through Michael Vanko's doorways into the past. The Addison Center for the Arts gallery hosted its first pop-up exhibit featuring photographer and urban explorer, Michael Vanko. The show opened Wednesday, December 12, 2018 and continued through Saturday, January 12, 2019.
Vanko displayed his videos and series of photographs, “Decaying History,” that document abandoned buildings in Illinois. The artist is a resident of Addison, IL and an alumni of Addison Trail High School. He is currently studying photography at College of DuPage. Several years ago he became active in the urban exploration (a.k.a. urbanex) community and began documenting his adventures with photographs and making videos from those photographs. He is now an emerging urban exploration photographer. His process involves researching abandoned sites, exploring them, and documenting their current state of entropy. Then he shares his discoveries with us through those photographs.
“Each picture represents forgotten history and what happens when humans leave a building behind. Some of these places are mummified in time while others have been reclaimed by nature. These photos sometimes contain hidden history that people don’t want you to see. I’m here to take you down the rabbit hole and show you what’s behind that door.”
The artist's reception was on January 11, 2019 from 1 to 4 pm. The reception coincided with Addison Trail High School's Alumni Day. As a graduate of the school, Vanko was eager to share his experiences with urbanex photography with AT's current crop of students. The students enjoyed hearing about Vanko's photographic process and adventures in urban exploration.