Today’s portfolio of work from our readers features two exhibitions and two books: The shows include Stephen Mallon’s tribute to the USS Arthur Radford, soon to become an artificial reef, and Edwin Remsberg’s collection of life-size nudes intriguingly shot against glass platforms. The two books are Chip Cooper and Nestor Marti’s vibrant volume about Havana and Edgar Martins’ topographic study of hydro-electric plants—places that now stand as reminders of a past era of hope.
“The Reefing of the USS Radford”
May 18 through June 17
What some people see as infrastructure, Stephen Mallon sees as art. The Brooklyn-based photographer has built a promising career by focusing on the industrial landscape, creating art projects by documenting the salvage of U.S. Air Flight 1549 from the Hudson River, the delivery of a Concorde supersonic airplane to the U.S.S. Intrepid museum in New York, and the installation of a bridge over New York’s Harlem River. His new show at Brooklyn’s Front Room Gallery, which opens tonight, features images of the sinking of the USS Arthur W. Radford, a retired US Navy destroyer that will now serve as an underwater eco system. The work is part of Mallon’s “American Reclamation” series examining recycling processes in the U.S.
Through May 24
For his “Diapothèque” series, Edwin Remsberg has photographed nudes on a glass platform, bringing “our ideas about objectification and the celebration of individuality to the forefront,” notes Baltimore’s Jordan Faye Contemporary gallery, where the life-size prints are on view. “The forms float so their silhouettes are highlighted and they seem almost to defy gravity. In moving closer to the work, it becomes visible that these forms in suspension are actually pushed forward, as if being held in by the glass.” Says Remsberg: “I often question the components that make up individual identity. There is something about our places, our people, and our time that is special. By isolating it and celebrating it, it provides one with the opportunity to appreciate it.”
The Time Machine
The Moth House
Working closely with the EDP Foundation, London-based photographer Edgar Martins gained access to 20 power plants across his native Portugal, all built from the 1950s to the 1970s—a time, Martins notes, of hopeful prospects of rapid economic growth and social change. “Forty years on, and now largely automated, most of the power stations are operated by a half-dozen employees at most….The photographs in The Time Machine capture the powerful yet visibly outdated artillery of analog machinery.” The Moth House, an independent UK publishing house, released the hardbound version of the book, produced in an edition of 1,000, last year. There is also an edition of 300 handmade books housed in clamshell covers. An exhibition of the work is touring Europe.
Chip Cooper and Nestor Marti
Old Havana Spirit of the Living City
University of Alabama Press
“There are many great books out on Cuba but not one that shows it from this perspective,” says photographer Chip Cooper of Old Havana Spirit of the Living City (La Habana Vieja: El Espiritu de la Ciudad Viva). The book actually encompasses two perspectives: Cooper, former director of photography at the University of Alabama, is an American, and photographer Nestor Marti is a Cuban. The pair began their collaboration in 2008 at the request of Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, historian of the city of Havana and director of the Habana Vieja restoration project. “Nestor and I had never met, but our common point was Walker Evans, whose work in Havana and Alabama became a creative model for us in documenting the city,” says Cooper.
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