May 15, 2014

Photo Essay: Sugar Sphinx and Her Attendants Sweeten the Abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery

I'd long been fascinated with the hulking Domino Sugar Refinery on the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn...

...but had missed any chance of getting inside...

...until now.

The occasion was the opening of a not-so-subtle art installation by sculpturist Kara Walker...

...whose centerpiece is a sugar-coated large scale sphinx-turned-mammy.

She is surrounded by "her attendants":

...young black boys working in the sugar trade, also made of sugar, carrying baskets of sugar products.

They are melting.

Even on opening day, they drip...

...and sweat in the unseasonable heat.

They exude brown sugar, molasses, with a sweet, sticky stench.

Like her sugar brigade...

...this Marvelous Sugar Baby is melting, too...

...covered in 160,000 pounds of sugar donated by Domino.

She is 75.5 feet from her front paws to her rising rear and 35.5 feet high, and, for the moment, she dominates the space of the abandoned 1880s factory.

The entire exhibit runs until July 6, but by nature, it's temporal and evolving. Will it even last that long? Or will the sculptures become consumed by the factory that cannot get rid of its sugar deposits, no matter how much you power-wash the floors?

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Abandoned Domino Sugar Refinery, Before Demolition
On the Waterfront: Domino Sugar Refinery
Photo Essay: Abandoned Sugar Factory, Betteravia

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