Monday, February 7, 2011


Photo Gallery: Where Subway Cars Go to Retire

10:30 am Tuesday Feb 1, 2011 by Caroline Stanley

Back in 2000, the NYC Transit Authority joined the artificial reef
building program off the East Coast of the US and hundreds of stripped
and decontaminated subway cars were sent via barge to be dumped in the
Atlantic Ocean. Industrial photographer Stephen Mallon spent three
years traveling from Delaware to South Carolin, documenting the entire
process. In Next Stop Atlantic, his upcoming solo show at Calumet
Photographic, the resulting large scale photographs anthropomorphize
the massive metal hulls, making what should be a happy voyage (yay,
repurposing!) feel like a strangely sad experience for the viewer.

Mallon agrees in his artist statement: "Seeing these massive
mechanisms being tossed into the ocean like a toy in the bathtub is a
ping in my heart. I have always been attached to these machines, their
surreal beauty integrated into their functional engineering. At first
I was stunned, the moments of violent recycling, watching the water
quickly adapt to its new underwater houses. After being pushed and
stacked like a sardine in these subways cars over the past decade, it
is nice to see the sardine actually getting one of these as its new
steel condo."


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