Thursday, January 4, 2018

Michael Dalton - THE GREAT FALLS

THE GREAT FALLS is photographer Michael Dalton's first photobook. Dalton has produced a significant series of quietly heartfelt pictures that speak of human frailty, loss and the truth of impermanence. In this photographic requiem Dalton has found poetry in the abandoned and beauty in the overlooked. Throughout the book the Passaic River and its Great Falls provides a counter balance to man's fallibility and is a metaphor suggesting hope. There is a chance that things will work out in the end. Life continues. 

Michael Dalton grew up in New Jersey and in The Great Falls, he depicts a city – a park, a waterfall, a derelict stadium, a model home, and the people that remain after the industry leaves – with a sense of familiarity and reverence. Dalton’s images include landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits of couples that represent a pride and resilience found in communities that are forced to adapt. The solemn grandeur of the waterfall ennobles Dalton’s work, which explores common American themes of perseverance, reclamation, and escape. 

With his particular use of imagery and sequence, Dalton creates a stage in which he deploys common archetypes found within cities of the Northeastern United States. While the specificity of place is not important to the central themes of the book, the indelible waterfall of Paterson, the constant guardian of the park, remains a reminder of what William Carlos Williams saw as the “catastrophe” in ones life (Book Four, Paterson). The waterfall and the river, in their course to the sea, mash together, become something new, and add to the larger sphere of existence. This is perhaps a reflection on the evolving function of faded industrial cities like Patterson in the modern world. Navigating these themes, The Great Falls is at once a personal record and a social document: an artist’s view of a place that has a fascinating history and social complexity.

Susan Lipper introduced me to Michael Dalton at Paris Photo back in November. Michael showed me THE GREAT FALLS - the book, the work impressed me. Was delighted when a copy showed up in my mail box a day or two ago. Thank you Michael. 

THE GREAT FALLS is a hardcover book, 23.5 x 28.5 cm, 120 pages with 54 photographs.

You can get yourself a copy of THE GREAT FALLS by going HERE. And you can go to Michael Dalton's website HERE

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