Over the weekend was the opening of Dark Progressivism: The Built Enviroment. I had the pleasure of contributing to this exhibition. Here are my photos that are currently on display at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. Along with my artist statement that will be in the upcoming exhibition catalog.
The “Manhattanization” of the Los Angeles urban landscape started taking place before the recession of 2008. Old downtown buildings that stood stagnant and were being purchased by developers from China and Korea. The small businesses frequented by factory workers began to disappear. Hand-written signs posted on doors and windows stating they had moved or were no longer in business became a common sight. More transplants from across the globe began to migrate to this “New Los Angeles”. This transformation hit the working poor and immigrant community the hardest.
Making room for these new residents was a wave of overdeveloped and overpriced living conditions for native residents. Angelenos who have lived in this city are in awe of the direction their city is taking. My photos are a reflection this changing of the guard. Construction is the norm when walking the streets. The shadow of progress has overlooked these individuals. It leaves you with more questions than answers for a city that is moving forward with or without you.
The culture of Los Angeles has raised me to see a broad scope of economic and social influence from brown skinned people of Los Angeles. Slowly the city’s working class culture will be outsourced. The “American Dream” has already exited the building. Does it still exist? Will I have to create this dream somewhere else? Can I still live here in Los Angeles? Is it worth it? Is it worth my family’s struggle? Theses are some of those questions I ask myself as I photograph this city. As the saying goes, “only time will tell.”
Dark Progressivism: The Built Enviroment will be on display til January 14, 2018. Two events are in the coming weeks:
Art & Science Discussion Panel on Sunday December 10, 2pm.
Dark Progressivism Zine Fest on Sunday January 7, 12pm – 5pm.
Follow @darkprogressivism for more information and details about the upcoming events.