Francis Cape’s The Other End of the Line is a conceptual artwork addressing the connections and differences between rural and urban New York. The artist took inspiration from the High Line’s history as a freight train conduit that once transported raw materials and manufactured goods between upstate New York and New York City.
Cape transforms the trailer into a public exhibition space featuring artworks by thirteen artists based in upstate New York. Guest curator Ian Berry, Curator of the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, selected artists and works focused on themes of locality and transience. Exhibiting artists included Michael Ashkin, Kenji Fujita, Richard Garrison, DeWitt Godfrey, Matt Harle, Chris Harvey, Margo Mensing, Rebecca Murtaugh, Michael Oatman, Gina Occhiogrosso, Ken Ragsdale, Nancy Shaver, and Alfonso Volo. In his selections, Berry is not only concerned with finding artists who live outside the urban areas, but those whose work captures the particular conditions of life in upstate New York.
Trained as a carpenter and fine wood worker, Cape previously focused on meticulous wood constructions that emphasized clean lines, minimalist beauty, and sound craftsmanship. The focus of his artwork took a dramatic shift following a visit to New Orleans in 2005, just two months after Hurricane Katrina. After witnessing the destruction of lives, buildings, and an entire city’s infrastructure, the artist turned to a combination of photography and construction, and began exploring themes of rescue and recovery efforts, social neglect, and design for living.
Photos by Jason Mandella.