Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Last Days of TA

I've had the distinct pleasure of documenting the TA Wall and Factory for the better part of the last ten years. It was one of the first spots I started to document back in 2003 that opened me up to the  larger scene in the city. I've met a good number of writers and folks over the years and I am truly appreciative to all the adventures, good times, an close calls I have shared with the many writers, artists, and folks I have met there. Ever since I have been walking and documenting TA there have been rumors, stories, or  theories about when the city was going to condemn and/or demolish the factory and regulate the area. It never happened, though there have been periods when the city regulated certain areas in and around TA to patch up the ole Ville-Marie expressway to ensure that its  crumbling facade did not collapse into a heap of poorly constructed chunks of cement and rebar. The Wall and Factory always prevailed, however, with the help of the local writing community who never gave up painting the walls and inner sanctum of the factory, regardless of the costly buffing campaigns and attempts to control the grounds.

 This past year, however, the city made good on its promise to demolish the factory and exert its control over area. As of a few weeks  back construction cranes and bulldozers have begun to destroy the most westerly section of the factory, have blown out the window sections, and either boarded up or tarped  off access. The whole west side of the factory is rubble and the  rest is to come soon enough. The TA Wall lies covered with thick tarps and dirt, though underneath you can still spy the last pieces of those who hit it up a little while back before the construction crews came in and sealed it all off.  There are still small bits getting done on the pylons and such but not much is happening in the factory area. The upper TA Wall area has some recent hits but nothing new except for a few hits running on the main wall itself since late last year. I got a chance to go by in December when the Factory was still running a little (it kind of still is but its all tarped off and its starting to get more sketchy) and have been stopping through occasionally since to get follow up flicks of its slow and agonizing dismantling.

For those of you who don't know, the TA Wall has been a staple of the Montreal graffiti community going back to the mid 90s. It was one of the spots that developed after RedPath taken down and was running continuously since. Like I said, I met many writers  at this spot and many more can attest to the memories of painting at the wall or in the factory as a major part of their painting careers, if not being one of the first spots they painted at. The wall and factory take their names from the crew Team Autobot that also has an illustrious history in the city and who's members were some of the first to paint and regulate the area. I only started documenting in 2003. The wall had about a decade on me before I even started to document it. I hope to get in touch with the members of TA to dig into that history at some point in order to give the Wall and Factory a more proper and definitive showcasing.


For now, here are some of my final shots of the TA Factory. I'll be posting more soon enough and dragging a good number from the vault from over the years to share with everyone and to reminisce.

 More soon, stay posted.