GROUPLA 2008, a consortium of 30 Los Angeles-based documentary artist-photographers will launch An Intimate View of Los Angeles, the first in a series of site-specific digital exhibition installations, under the direction of Helen K. Garber and in collaboration with Bergamot Station-adjacent MINARC/GALLERY SKART.
Each participating photographer has marked their territory – by documenting the
neighborhood in which they have chosen to reside, work or play to produce a narrative
portrait – all of which have been formatted for a simultaneous looping, modular digital
display, to deliver thirty unique, up-to-the-minute perspectives. Project Director Garber
describes the overriding goal as “a means to unite the energy field of LA’s creative
Representing disparate socio-economic values and culturally diverse world-views, they
merge with surprising equanimity as images collide in a digital time-capsule. The group
will continue and expand as it documents the L.A. social landscape and invites other
cities to exhibit at designated sites around the city and the country.
“We didn’t realize what a pivotal year in history 2008 would turn out to be when we
started last January. The incredible change in the world’s economy gives the project
immediate poignancy,” comments Garber who envisions the project as an evolving and
traveling compendium as additional photographers and their cities come on board.
The corpus of photographic work is intended not only to provide a lay-of-the-land
experience for viewers, but, to articulate a new view of primal territory as urban hoods
bounded and uniquely characterized by historic trajectory and socio-cultural and
economic influences are illuminated to assuage our discomfort with one another. The
evidence of architecture, artifact, local personality, ethnicity, the unpredictable and the
otherwise invisible intersect in counterpoint to zip-coded alienation.
Individually and collectively, the photographers of GROUPLA 2008 and beyond will
embrace, update and preserve both the private and populist experience of our
topographic and ethnographically defined era through art and information archiving.
The work of GROUPLA 2008 will be complemented by A Night View Collaboration, a
360 degree, 40 foot long panorama of the entire city of Los Angeles as seen from the
downtown helipad of the US Bank Tower as created by artist Helen K. Garber to
illustrate the vastness of Los Angeles’ terrain. Originally commissioned for the 2006
International Biennale of Architecture in Venice, Italy, Garber later teamed with DuceOneX and
invited locally renowned graffiti writers to use the panoramic print as a surface to ceremoniously tag the entire city of Los Angeles in one swoop, as a parallel to urban blight in all of its
manifestations (telephone poles, wires, etc). Garber initially conceived the project to
promote the importance of art education in public schools as a force against all forms of
urban pollution. Contributing graffiti writers will be on hand at the opening celebrations.
GROUPLA 2008’s An intimate View of Los Angeles will also be a featured exhibition
event at the forthcoming Month of Photography L.A [MOPLA], which will present
dynamic programming, exhibitions and events designed to engage and stimulate the
photography community in April 2009.
GROUPLA 2008’s An Intimate View of Los Angeles will travel for the NY Photo Festival,
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