May the Road Rise to Meet You
on view February 8 – March 30, 2014
For the past forty years, my father has traveled around America as a telephone pole salesman. May the Road Rise to Meet You is a pseudo-documentary and biography of his professional life, recreated as a collaboration between father and daughter to create a visual document of the life he has led separate from our shared family experience.
In popular mythology, few professions are as emblematic of this mobile, ambitious and commercially-minded nation as the traveling salesman. As the Internet and outsourcing make this once ubiquitous occupation obsolete, May the Road Rise to Meet You explores the life of a businessman alone on the road. On a larger scale, this project explores the changing nature of “the road” in American culture and in the history of photography. We were traveling north on I-45 through Texas, when I asked my dad what it was like dealing with customers. He told me: “There’s that old saying that you don’t know someone until you walk a few miles in their moccasins.” It was in that spirit that I put myself in my father’s size 10 boots. What I found in chasing this enormously elusive male figure is that I can never fully know my father or what it is like to be a man alone on the road. In the same way that a family photo album functions to present an idealized version of a family’s history, these photographs tell the story of how we both want his life on the road to be remembered.
– Sara Macel, 2014
Sara Macel is an artist and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in 2011 and her BFA in Photography + Imaging from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2003. Her work has been widely exhibited and is in various private collections, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Harry Ransom Center, and the Center of Photography at Woodstock. Recently, she was named a winner in Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, one of the Top 50 Photographer’s in Photolucida’s Critical Mass Award, winner in the New York Photo Festival Invitational, and finalist in FotoVisura Spotlight Awards. In 2012, Sara received the Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant from the Aaron Siskind Foundation. Her first monograph, May the Road Rise to Meet You, was published by Daylight Books in 2013. In addition to her freelance work, Sara currently teaches photography at SUNY Rockland.