With the summer heat suddenly upon us in full force, most people are doing whatever possible to avoid the humid recesses of the subway as much as possible. However, for anyone who hasn't quite yet got their fill, there's the Bohen Foundation's site-specific installation End Station, which recreates a New York City subway in the foundation's basement.

The artists, a team called Elmgreen + Dragset, have indicated that the installation is intended as a comment on the gentrification of the meat packing district and of New York in general. To that end, the station is filled with clues, from a newspaper from the beginning of the AIDS crisis to discarded needles, which position it in the more raucous city of the late '80s and early '90s. Like the mistakes in the replicated station itself, which was built according to the artists' memories rather than to MTA specifications, these clues actually act to pull the station out of time. The items are carefully placed in the spare and freshly painted station, which is itself exponentially cleaner than anything found in reality. Even the token graffiti is carefully scripted and the trash artistically placed. The staged nature of the installation therefore has the effect of creating a space of memory, rather than a replication of a historical subway. Yet, just like the surrounding Meat Packing district itself, this memory has been scrubbed clean.

Regardless of all this, however, we feel that the piece is far more successful in, perhaps inadvertently, pointed out the power of gimmicky simulacra in the art world. By cleaning the subway up and cocooning it in the rarefied spaces of an art foundation, the artists have been able to successfully convince members of the art world to go down a set of stairs and wait in a station for a train that will never come, exactly as they might in real life. Drawn by the power of a neat trick, these visitors then re-enact an experience which, at least a few, have most likely not done since the earlier decades the station recalls.

The Bohen Foundation is located at 415 W 13th St. The installation will be on display through July 1st. Read an interview with the artists here.