The iconic and glorious Golden Gate Bridge, recognized around the world, is nearly synonymous with the Bay Area. This summer, SJMA invites visitors to experience the bridge in a completely new way through the art of Doug Hall. In Timelapse, the bridge is more than a landmark: it is an elegant engineering feat, a symbol of global maritime commerce, a portal to the Pacific Rim, and a tourist destination of the West. This exhibition marks the debut of the Museum’s recent major acquisition, purchased with funds contributed by the Lipman Family Foundation and the Acquisitions Committee.
Chrysopylae (2012) is a dual-screen, high-definition, video portrait of the Golden Gate Bridge and the massive international container ships that pass under it on their way in and out of the San Francisco Bay. The explorer John C. Fremont named the mouth of the bay Chrysopylae, Greek for “golden gateway,” in 1846, long before the bridge was built. From land, from sea, and from above, Hall filmed the activities that take place at the extraordinary interface of nature and this manmade wonder. He went out to sea with the skilled bar pilots who guide the container ships through the rough currents of the bay and even climbed to the top of the bridge’s towers. Hall edited over forty hours of footage into twentyeight minutes that panoramically capture the monumental and the ordinary moments in daily existence at the Golden Gate. A sound track composed by Jim McKee and Joan Jeanrenaud in Dolby surround sound accompanies the footage. Hall’s binocular images and the deep, resonant sound create a multisensory experience that is kinesthetically felt as much as it is seen. Chrysopylae was commissioned for the exhibition International Orange at Fort Point, San Francisco, which was organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation in honor of the bridge’s seventy-fifth anniversary.
On view along with the video installation will be Hall’s photographs of attractions in the American West, such as Yosemite and Mount Rushmore—preludes to his portrayal of the far-Western presence that is the Golden Gate Bridge.