Jamey Stillings: The Bridge at Hoover Dam - Portfolio One
Portfolio Introduction

The Bridge at Hoover Dam series looks at the evolution of the Colorado River Bridge, in the context of the Black Canyon and Hoover Dam, as its construction continues through the end of 2010.

How a structure and its creation are documented greatly impacts how it is remembered in history. Construction of the bridge downstream from Hoover Dam is unique both for its historical importance, by its proximity to the dam, and for its technical achievement, bridging the Black Canyon over the Colorado River with the longest concrete arch span in North America. The bridge challenges us to examine the juncture of nature and technology on a scale that is both grand and human.

When I first encountered the bridge at Hoover Dam in March 2009, it immediately captured my imagination. Watching the bridge's construction, especially at night, is both inspiring and magical. The photo essay, which is evolving from this initial encounter, allows me to meld photographic and aesthetic sensibilities with a reawakened sense of childhood curiosity and awe. Photographically, the bridge as subject is creatively and technically challenging, dynamic and transitory.

Over a two year period, I returned to the bridge again and again. As it evolved, each visit required fresh perspectives and 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 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.

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