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Anthony Hernandez
Everything
HC, 31,5 x 31,5 cm. , o.pp.
Nazraeli 2005

The Los Angeles River is shaped by Southern California's arid climate. During the dry months, from June to October, it is little more than a rivulet, meandering torpidly through miles of concrete flood-control. But between November and May, when ?erce rains strike, it rises up, swelling against its man-made boundaries, fed by storm drains that conduct waste water to the sea. From January 2003 to May 2004, photographer Anthony Hernandez walked the basin of the Los Angeles River, recording what he saw - which, as the book's title implies, was more or less Everything. For Hernandez, to explore the river was to explore his own past. As a boy growing up in Boyle Heights, a largely Latino neighborhood in East Los Angeles, he played in the concrete basin, or as he puts it, made "mischief", exploding railroad flares in its tunnel-like storm drains, and smashing bottles against its walls. Significantly, Hernandez does not stage his photographs; he records what he ?nds. In the river, this mostly means items left by homeless people (who camp there in the warmer weather) or objects lost down far-away storm drains. Introduction by M. G. Lord.

"Suivant l'exemple de son ami Lewis Baltz, Hernandez puise à la source d'un art marqué depuis les années 1950 par la conscience d'appartenir à une civilisation du détritus et qui éprouve le besoin de s'incorporer ce matériau. S'il suggère la non-humanité dans ses images par la mise en scène d'objets inanimés, Hernandez peut encore compter sur les ressources de cet art, non plus pour se pencher sur la décomposition de l'environnement urbain ou sur les poubelles de la société industrielle, mais pour signifier l'exclusion et la déchéance d'humains tombés au rang de rebuts. De même dans les wastelands de Baltz, ces terrains vagues, ces régions sans qualité, "à la marge du visible", il trouve une méthode qui lui permet la constitution en paysage des lieux des sans-abri, sur la base de la culture matérielle qu'il y découvre." Jean-Christophe Blaser, L'Elyseé, Lausanne -

 


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