Vincent Lamouroux’s Projection: A call to notice yourself through a deep reflection of what we presently face

 

Vincent Lamouroux,

Vincent Lamouroux, Projection: Time and Site-Specific Intervention, On the Sunset Pacific Motel Property, Los Angeles

 

Coming upon Vincent Lamouroux’s white washed building is like finding the perfect black dress. It looks great during the day, accessorized by a casual blue sky and also transitions well to night, the whitened palm trees standing stark and elegant against the impending darkness. The trick of it, though, it that the body of the building was well shaped and ready to be looked at to begin with.

The structure, somewhat beautified by the passage of time, was a dull gray before the artist came along and was protected a barbed wire fence around the sides. The rows of rooms around what was once a old motel still stood, one on top of the other, with doors that were almost certainly painted or bolted shut. There was a non-illuminated sign up top, blanked out by paint but still there announcing the ghosts inside. And at the front of the building, to the side of the main entrance, a staircase leading to no where.

Still I can’t claim to have seen its potential, as the artist did when he first saw the building some ten years ago. Instead, when I walked by at night, I found it somewhat frightening, barely alive with a haunting glow from the security lights on the side of the street. The kind of place you might photograph with a black cat strolling past or a shadow figure looming larger than life. It was ghostly, is what I mean to say and as such had a beating heart, albeit slowing and faint.

Now, with a new coat, the building announces itself to its audience by with the charm and intrigue of a burlesque dancer. The two flanking palm trees shake a little in the wind as if to show you that all the world is a stage and the she’s turned the spotlight her way.  You can look, long and hard if you want, but ultimately the surface is impenetrable, leaving you to face your own projections of what you wish, want and might hope for herself and yourself to become.

In this way the pieces simplifies something that might have been previously too complex to engage with. Its history, its maintenance, its multiple platforms and layers of paint had become a burden. People had abandoned the fantasies about possessing it themselves as they once did. An east side bohemian art residence, for instance, was an insane plan for a building that would never be sold by an increasingly neglectful owner

I felt myself become a part of the work when I revisited the site, day by day, as the crew completed the painting. Each time a new area got a coat, I found an intense pleasure of having known it both before and after its transformation. And then the peak of delight in seeing the commercial billboard on top of the building painted over as well, as if to say she would take no prisoners in her feat to claim her new look, all past intrusions were dead to her.

But, for me the piece is less of a disruption of time and space, as the title suggests, and more a comment on the futility of the urge to do just that. The show runs for two weeks, and then what? When the building is plowed down, as is planned, will she be better off in the end? Sure, she had one more moment in the sun, but her eventual demise hasn’t been staved off by the attention. Time, it turns out, knows no disruption. Not even a new dress slows down our inevitable decay, a fact that many beautiful people here are hesitant to face.

Overall though, the work reflects a deep understanding of what Los Angeles is to the people who live here. Rather than a place to become something, it can be a place to learn to appreciate who you already are, through rest and reflection and yes, perhaps a bit of fantasy.  Which makes it the ideal place for the artist to do his job. Perhaps the piece will also perform a longer lasting value; through highlighting the wonder and beauty of the past, we might take a moment question whether all our visions of the future are as utopian as they seem.

Vincent Lamouroux, Projection, Time And Site-Specific Intervention On The Sunset Pacific Motel Property, Los Angeles through May 10th, 2015 @ 4301 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029. Produced by Please Do Not Enter

 

Vincent Lamouroux, Los Angeles

Vincent Lamouroux, Los Angeles

Vincent Lamouroux, Los Angeles

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by Emily Kramer
in Focus on the West Coast

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