The idea of doing photographic diptychs came to me almost by accident. In the fall of 2013, I was being interviewed by a television producer about a series of solo row houses I had photographed in Baltimore. The project was called Last House Standing and it was, in part, about the myriad economic and demographic changes that had been physically devastating inner-city neighborhoods within old-line industrial cities like Baltimore.—Ben


01 Baltimore MD Ben Marcin


The solo row houses seemed like a perfect metaphor for this phenomenon. During the interview I offered to take the producer out on a tour to show her some of the actual buildings. When we pulled up to the final location I had to do a double-take. The original three-story row house, one that I had photographed only a year before, had vanished leaving an empty lot. It was as though it had never existed. I knew that these nineteenth-century buildings were falling into disrepair but I hadn’t expected one to go so fast. Shortly after this experience, I decided to revisit the scenes of some of my earlier photographs, including those from other projects. I was curious to see what may have happened during the intervening years. In some cases the changes were dramatic. In others, the subjects themselves hadn’t changed much but the fact that I was encountering them during a completely different time of year evoked a similar feeling of solemnity. These diptychs, then, are essentially meditations and reflections on the passing of time and how the effects of time weigh differently from place to place.




Born in Augsburg, Germany. Most of my photographic essays explore the idea of home and the passing of time. Last House Standing and The Camps have received wide press both nationally and abroad (The Paris Review, iGnant, La Repubblica, Slate, Wired Magazine). My photographs have been shown at a number of national galleries and venues including the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Delaware Art Museum; The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts; The Center for Fine Art Photography in Ft. Collins, Colorado; The Photographic Resource Center in Boston; and the Houston Center for Photography. Last House Standing (And Other Stories) was featured in a 2014 solo exhibit at the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, where I am currently represented. My work is also in several important collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art.