Friday, 17 April 2009

Park Street Subway

It is always fascinating to learn what goes on beneath the city streets. Walker Evans in one of his lectures on postcards included this arresting image from the city of Boston. He commented, I can’t read it ........ but what an abstraction. It’s a most optically baffling picture replete with spatial contradictions. The eye searches for a way out of this subterranean cul-de-sac but each track seems to be blocked. The right hand track appears to offer the best prospect of escape until you notice that it too is closed off. It could function as a model for the interior of the human mind where everything appears rational and organised until on closer examination it all falls apart as reason and logic take flight. What is astonishing is not just that this is all the product of sound engineering principles but that someone photographed it with the intention of marketing the image to the public in postcard form. Thank goodness they did.

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