There’s already something spooky about planned communities — whole towns of giant, identical homes that seemingly popped up out of nowhere. It’s why the suburbs are prime material for artists to examine the secrets that we keep behind closed doors, either taboo subjects detailed by writers like A. M. Homes or something as wild and extreme as horror films like Fright Night and A Nightmare on Elm Street. But even more eerie is when a suburban community falls on such hard economic times that an entire population uproots itself, and a modern-day ghost town is left in its wake.
That phenomenon is what photographer Valérie Anex examines in her series, Ghost Estates (spotted via Faith is Torment). The locations include various neighborhoods in Ireland, where an economic downturn has displaced families from homes they cannot afford. Anex explains, “Bitter memories left by the spectral and temporary nature of the property boom in Ireland, ghost estates are the symbol of the property market’s collapse, a topology of the economic disintegration of the country.”