The Bridge at Hoover Dam
When Jamey Stillings first encountered the Bridge under construction in March 2009, it immediately captured his imagination. The extended photo essay, which developed from this initial encounter, allowed him to meld his photographic skills and aesthetic sensibilities with a reawakened sense of childhood curiosity and awe. Photographically, this Bridge as subject was creatively and technically challenging, dynamic and transitory.
Construction of the Mike O’Callaghan—Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, downstream from Hoover Dam, is unique for its historical importance and its technical achievement. It bridges the Black Canyon over the Colorado River with the longest concrete arch span in the Western Hemisphere. The Bridge challenges us to examine the intersection of nature and technology on a scale that is both human and grand.
Over a two-year period, Stillings returned to document the Bridge sixteen times. As it evolved, each visit required a fresh perspective and renewed visual inquiry. The opportunity to spend extended time with a single ‘subject’ brought a depth of understanding both to the approach and the resulting body of work.
The overarching goals of The Bridge at Hoover Dam, both the traveling exhibition and the accompanying book, are to acknowledge the collective talents and labors of those who built the bridge, to place the bridge within the historical and aesthetic context of Hoover Dam and the American West, and to initiate a dialogue that the imposition of infrastructure within a natural environment inevitably summons.
“For Jamey Stillings, the bridge at Hoover Dam was an accidental subject. A road trip, meant to refresh the photographer, introduced him to a subject that was so compelling, so magnificent, that it inspired a personal quest. Beginning in 2009, Stillings made sixteen trips to visit the concrete-steel composite arch bridge, chronicling its construction through photographs made from dozens of viewpoints, including a hovering helicopter.
The building of a bridge just downstream from Hoover Dam on the Colorado River captured his imagination, igniting the awe that draws children to construction sites. For Stillings, the story of the bridge was about the many people who had made it possible: those who had envisioned the design, made plans for the construction, worked in the challenging desert environment, and dedicated years to its completion. Though Stillings was granted special access to photograph the structure, he was not granted access to photograph the workers up close. He therefore conveys the human story through pictures of process. He documents the construction, showing the progression as the bridge took shape, ultimately linking Nevada and Arizona and creating a bypass for the road that snakes down and over the dam itself.”
~ Rebecca Senf, Curator of Photography, Phoenix Art Museum
|44 framed color exhibtion photographs|
|Availability||Linear Feet||Shipping Info||Rental Fee|
|through 2020||123 Linear Feet||3 crates, 1050 lbs||Inquire|
|photo-eye Gallery||Santa Fe, N.M.||September-November 2009|
|The Springs Preserve||Las Vegas, Nevada||October 2010 - January 2011|
|Phoenix Art Museum||Phoenix, Arizona||August - December 2011|
|Blue Sky Gallery||Portland, Oregon||February 2012|