“Cathedral cars” is a generic term invented by dockers at the port of Marseilles to designate the vehicles that cross over the Mediterranean from Marseilles to North Africa by ship. Thomas Mailaender pays tribute to these “cathedral cars” that can be considered as human feats, visually defying the laws of gravity and tied-up dreams. The photographer has made portraits of these cars seen from behind or from the profile, taking the background away in order to isolate them in the frame. Evoking popular art and sculpture, these cars also speak of the voyage to come, and deal with the passage from one territory to another, exodus and migration.
Constructed as a large-sized picture book, Cathedral Cars borrows the attributes of children’s books: thick cardboard paper, shiny coated film. A choice that creates a distance from the reality of context in order to present the subject itself as a game of construction.
Marc Auge´’s text, “Elsewhere, Hereabouts” as well as a collection of “found images” by the artist, are printed on in12-page booklet, fitted into the thickness of the book cover.
Read Antone Dolezal's photo-eye Blog post on Cathedral Carshere.