Before people in Williamsburg stole bikes, they stole cars. Or car parts, to be exact. The hipster heaven was once an opportune spot for the practice in the 1980s, when crack cocaine was in its prime and re-selling stolen auto scraps was an easy way to make cash.
Photographer James Cathcart, who was living on the south side of the neighborhood at the time, became fascinated with the rampant car stripping and decided to document it. These photographs are part of the exhibition Boneyards, on view at Causey Contemporary in Brooklyn.
Running alongside Cathcart’s black-and-white images of cars (which are propped up on their sides, completely destroyed, or partially eaten away by their predators) are photographs from a later series he shot of the U.S. Military’s aircraft repository. He went to investigate the landmass in Tucson, Arizona’s Sonaran Desert, where the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center lays retired aircrafts to rest. Since people aren’t allowed on the site, Cathcart snapped pictures of the place while whizzing past in a bus, flying overhead in a plane, or from behind a wire fence. Together, the series form a poignant commentary on life after death—in the realm of travel mechanisms, at least.
Boneyards is on view through July 15.