Le Bon Marche Installation

STATEMENT ABOUT THE INSTALLATION AT Le Bon Marché:

The work for this public installation was commissioned by Le Bon Marché and exhibited in Paris, France August 21st-October 12th, 2009.

This work is a “love letter” to my hometown city, Los Angeles.

The “Musical Palm Tree” windows were inspired by a longtime daydream of mine. Driving around LA in the magical sunset hours, listening to music and watching the rows of palm trees dot the sky, I would imagine musical stave bars overlaid on top of the trees. The palm leaves became musical notes and I could hear the soundtrack they would reveal.

Photographer Todd Cole shot panoramas of palm trees in LA, which were then arranged according to a melodic pattern I drew.

“Money Mark” composed the score for the windows. I wanted a joyous song, perhaps one that could make tears turn into laughter. We were inspired by California classic pop; The Beach Boys, Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” and girl groups like the Shangri-la’s, who sang of heartbreak but over driving, upbeat tempo.

An interior installation, called “LA at Night”, consists of a cube structure, inside of which, 5 films play simultaneously, synchronized and symphonic. The films were shot on HD in Los Angeles in the dead of night. The footage includes images of my Underwater Ballet billboards, a public art project shown in Los Angeles in April-May 2009, which consisted of 86 digital billboards within the LA landscape.

These are inter-cut with time-lapse shots of freeways and blown out car headlights, which were layered to create a kaleidoscopic, ‘jeweled’ effect. The images together form a meditation on the nighttime landscape of Los Angeles; a sky lit by artificial lights beaming from advertisements and car culture. The soundtrack contains no traffic noises at all; rather it follows a meditation, using breath, wind, a low hum, and bells.