FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2012
Stephen Mallon: "Reframing the Machine," an Exhibit at Webster University's May Gallery
“Re-framing the Machine” follows Stephen Mallon’s winding journey of searching out his industrial landscapes. From the random out-takes of a wedding in Tennessee to the decisive and violent recycling of New York City, Mallon’s selects of the past decade’s picture hunting are here to see.
One of the exhibition’s featured projects is images of subway cars being dumped into the Atlantic. More than 2,500 of New York’s decommissioned subway cars are laid to rest on the eternal seabed. Gutted and windowless, the hardest workers in the mobile world fall down to the new base, where they now forever serve another population. Mallon’s photographs elicit both the sadness and the beauty of cascading water overtaking these iconic figures of New York transit as they sink beneath the surface of the water; surges and sprays are caught in time.
Another focus in the exhibition is images of the only passenger jet aircraft to ditch in water with zero fatalities. Time moves and memories fade. Three years have passed, and it can be difficult to recall the moment for one heard the news of a passenger jet landing in a river in New York. The photo essay “Brace for Impact” facilitates the recollection of faded memories and emotions. The feelings of shock, awe, disbelief, and amazement come rushing back when seeing a wing of an airplane protruding from the icy water.
Most recently, Mallon spent six months producing a short film about the transport and installation of the new Willis Street Bridge. Produced from more than 30,000 still images, the time lapse film, "A Bridge Delivered," was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, GQ, PDN and Wired. "A Bridge Delivered" will be part of the May Gallery exhibit.
March 2-30, 2012
Opening reception Friday, March 2, 5–7 p.m.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday;
Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
May Photography Gallery
Sverdrup Building, Webster University, 8300 Big Bend Blvd., 2nd Floor
Free and open to the public
Call 314-246-7673, or visit the website at www.webster.edu/maygallery
Mallon’s work harkens back to the heroic industrial landscapes of Margaret Bourke-White and Charles Sheeler, who glorified American steel and found art in its industrial muscle and smoke during the Great Depression. That particular sense of beauty—a celebration of daring, and design—has during recent decades largely been relegated to corporate annual reports. Today, with a U.S. unemployment rate of 9.1 percent and political crisis of confidence over the nation’s economy, Mallon’s imagery offers a decidedly uplifting viewpoint. In his pictures, American industrial muscle is back—in a modern way.
Mallon has won received numerous awards for his work: In 2011, his work received the official selection in the Woodstock Film Festival, the Rooftop Film Festival and the FPS Film Festival. In 2010 he was named to the Critical Mass top 50.