|For her series “Skies of Concrete,” which is the subject of a new book out in February from Park Books, Erlacher travelled within Austria and to the Netherlands, Great Britain, and China to find pockets of human activity crammed and wedged beneath towering bridges and roadways. Among the many surreal spaces she unearthed are a colorful jungle gym beneath the criss-cross of looming overpasses; an adventure-park ropes course installed beneath a railway bridge in the Alps; and two men in Chongqing, China, dwarfed by concrete above and below, lounging as if on a garden patio.
Erlacher’s images deliberately show us little of the activity that is taking place on top of these structures, where cars and pedestrians are presumably passing as the architects and urban planners intended.
Instead, it seems almost as if the great gray structures, brutalist and ubiquitous, have been built for some other species, while humans have been left to carve out a life in what remains below. But if these scenes are testaments to the eerie effects of urbanization, they also celebrate the resourcefulness and ingenuity of those who continue to ride horses or grow flowers in leftover spaces.
The New Yorker