Exhibiting Decay

Tensions of Authenticity in Illegal and Organised Urban Exploration

‘Urban exploration’ originally refers to practices of individuals or groups while visiting and investigating abandoned, often industrial sites. Most of these locations are not officially open to the public, so that these visits are usually illegal. The thrill of trespassing and the fact that visitors face artefacts in what is considered their ‘authentic state of decay’ rather than after their ‘artificial restoration’ act as crucial incentives for urban exploration. In this sense, urban exploration is originally a practice where the infringement of ownership is part of the authenticity of the experience.

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