Parts of the canal still seem post-apocalyptic, like the Benson Metal Corporation on Smith Street, where a giant metal claw lifts scrap metal from a giant pile to a waiting barge on the water.
When the company paid an $85,000 fine in 2012 for dropping a large amount of material into the canal, the New York State Attorney General said, “The days when the Gowanus Canal could be treated as a dumping ground are over.”
©Mark D Phillips
20” x 30” Metallic Print behind Acrylic • $350
“Thirty Years of Gowanus” exhibited in Movers, Not Shakers! pop up gallery on October 20 to 21, 2018, during the Gowanus Open Studios weekend.
Mark D Phillips’ photographic collection documents his generational view of the Gowanus Canal from abandoned, industrial filth to the beginning of gentrification and the EPA’s start to cleaning the Superfund site.
Movers, Not Shakers!, New York’s #1 green moving company, is located next to Brooklyn’s “Lavender Lake,” which the EPA calls “one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies.” Bringing attention to the cleanup and the possibilities of the green revolution is one of Mark Ehrhardt’s missions as owner of Movers, Not Shakers!
“The photography that Mark has captured over the years of the Gowanus Canal and surrounding areas is captivating, filled with images that create that sense of deja vu of looking back to Brooklyn’s past, and allows one to reflect on how much has changed here over the last 30 years. Our team is excited to create a space within our warehouse that will be a unique way to view our friend Mark’s photographs in a (quickly disappearing) industrial setting,“ said Ehrhardt.
“I discovered the Gowanus Canal in 1989, an abandoned, desolate location in the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn. The more time I spent on its length, the more I came to love it,” said Phillips.
This will be the second year that Phillips’ images will be on display in the unique Green Gallery created in the warehouse at 131 3rd Street right beside the canal. Mark Ehrhardt started Movers, Not Shakers! using eco-friendly methods to reduce the carbon footprint of every move they make. Once more, the walls of the Green Gallery space will be built from reusable packing bins that highlight the green aspect of Movers, Not Shakers!