Kara Walker’s Sugar Exhibit May be the Only Place in New York City Without Rats

By Jamilah King Jun 11, 2014

If you live in New York City, your closest and most intimate relationships may be with the city’s millions of rats. They’re in the streets, on the subways, and occassionally in your apartment. But one place they’re not? Kara Walker’s exhibit at the Domino Sugar Factory.

It’s quite an achievement considering that the exhibit is made out of 160,000 pounds of sugar and is left uncovered overnight in a dilapidated 158-year old sugar factory. What’s their secret?

Lots and lots of poison, according to Claire Voon at Hyperallergic.

Last year, according to Two Trees [the development firm that’s demolishing the factory in order to build residential condos] representative Marina Trejo, the firm began spraying the site and laying poison as well as rodent traps to prep for demolition. Signs warning of these dangers still hang on the factory’s exterior, visible to all. Every visitor also has to sign a waiver before entering the hall, but this implementation is universal to all construction sites rather than specific to this warehouse-turned-art space, or even Kara Walker’s work. Furthermore, the document is not pest-oriented, using the catch-all phrase of "chemicals" to cover the perils of rodenticides and pesticides on site, along with more boilerplate construction hazards like asbestos.

Read more over at Hyperallergic