Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day 215: Industrial giants

looking out towards Red Hook from 33rd in Sunset Park.

Last night I ventured only 4 stops past Union (into Brooklyn) on the R train in search of the fabled Industry City (references to this place have come up several times in the short week that we have been back). It has been more than 5 years since I came to this neighborhood (Sunset Park) and during previous trips it was much warmer and daylight (it makes a big difference). My destination last night was Light Industry, nested in the mammoth Industry City complex. Last night the area was hard-edged and cold. Being amidst the towering fortresses of rock on all sides with bricks underfoot felt like d.u.m.b.o. did many years ago. After crossing under the BQE the winds came up signaling that the waterfront must be at the end of the dark street in front of me.

The event last night was a screening of James Benning's 1986 Landscape Suicide. For such an upbeat day, this setting and film weren't exactly light-hearted. But the experience as a whole was a positive sign for the new year - the new year that starts today with Barack Obama's first day in office. With or without government support artists are finding ways to thrive in unexpected places and the city apparently still contains amazing industrial spaces worth preserving for these purposes. Wouldn't it be amazing if support met the creative forces that make urban life so incredible? Here's to the new year that starts today and art being a bigger part of the national picture...

You can read and see more here.

The Municipal Art Society has a great website displaying various industrial spaces that need to be saved in Brooklyn. I was saddened to see the beloved Revere Sugar Factory on the map, it has now been demolished for the IKEA.

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