It can mean the process of something being ruined, or the thing itself being ruined. It can indicate a decline in standards, of faculties. It can be eye catching, and beautiful only as an accident, not end goal.
This piece, by Titus Kaphar, mummifies a vague approximation of our Founding Fathers, their identities and secrets wrapped up tight. Since they're blind to the world around them, they stumble forward, playing a part while falling apart.