Stephen DiRado: JUMP

DeCordova Exhibits
Click images for larger view
On View 2007
Exhibition Location: Window Arcade Gallery

Over the course of several summers, Worcester photographer Stephen DiRado has photographed vacationers and residents as they jump off the American Legion Memorial Bridge on Beach Road between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard . This 18-foot descent into the waters of a tidal inlet has been a rite of passage for generations of youth. DiRado’s black-and-white prints capture the anticipation, desire, anxiety, and release associated with the moment of letting go, as terra firma is abandoned and the void embraced. Figures fall, fly, leap, and dive with expressions of intense concentration, joyful abandon, or sheer terror. This exhibition will include 20 photographs from this compelling series.

According to the artist, “Over time I got to know the regulars, and came to recognize the athletes with their graceful half gainer dives as well as those who quietly stepped off the rail, and dropped....You knew the first-timers because they would hesitate before leaping, bringing others to their attention, everybody spontaneously chanting, JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!”

JUMP is organized by Mary Levin and William Koch Curatorial Fellow Lisa Sutcliffe.