Thursday, October 27, 2005

the city and the camera

There are two L.A.-centric exhibits on right now that are worth a look:

At Design Within Reach, German photographer Peter Loewy showcases LA icons and their favorite views of the city.

At the Gagosian Gallery, Ed Ruscha updates his documentation of Hollywood Boulevard and every building on it 31 years later.

Between 1962 and 1978, Ed Ruscha produced seventeen influential artist's books, usually self-published and in small print runs. Perhaps the most well known of these books is "Every Building on The Sunset Strip," published in 1966, which shows a famous stretch along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. In 1973, Ruscha followed the same procedure, this time documenting Hollywood Boulevard, producing two continuous panoramic views of the north and south sides of the street. Loading a continuous strip of black & white 35mm film into his motor-drive Nikon F2 and then mounting it on a tripod in the bed of a pickup truck, Ruscha drove back and forth across the entire length of the street, shooting it frame-by-frame. The negatives were developed, but never published.

In 2004, the artist re-shot Hollywood Boulevard. The same type of camera equipment was used to re-photograph the street, but this time on 35mm color-negative film. In "THEN & NOW," the original 1973 panoramic images run parallel to their 2004 versions – documenting the changes that have occurred over three decades.