Brooklyn Corrugated Iron Fences is the fifth in a series of New York topographical projects by photographer Charles Johnstone. Beginning in 2006 with his series on Havana, Johnstone employs his signature square-format to document empty spaces. These places devoid of human subjects explore the formal attributes of the city -its shapes, colors, and patterns. Each series demonstrates Johnstone's ability to find balance and structure, as well as fleeting moments of stillness amidst the bustle and chaos of New York. In seeking these seemingly banal, overlooked areas of the city, Johnstone takes on the role of urban explorer and documentarian of the yet unknown side of his native city.
Over the past twenty years, the borough of Brooklyn has undergone a radical change as it loses its industrial areas to a swell of residential housing. Much like Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz documenting the loss of open spaces in the West to the sprawl of urban development, Johnstone records the loss of Brooklyn's open, low-lying industrial areas to a glut of high rise condominiums. Like a continental fault line, these corrugated fences serve as the borderline between two shifting social environments.
Charles Johnstone photographs with a manual camera. His meticulously documented series have all been published as individual books. Much like the corrugated iron fences of Brooklyn, Johnstone's books relate in purpose, theme, and structure.