At the start of this year everybody in my neighborhood received an ominous packet from the Department of the Army, Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The letter from the U.S. Army, as well as the enclosed pamphlet, were printed in both English as well as Spanish reminding everyone that we are living on a decommissioned military practice bombing range. I immediately recognized the potential to appropriate some of the Army’s text for my project Gardening For Ordnance.
But last year I had hit the pause button for this project as I was in the midst of applying for three large grants to help fund the final development of this project. Nevertheless I was accumulating text and photographs for the next phase of work that I was hoping to be funded for. Last week I received the last of the three rejection slips; in the near term this project was not going to garner any outside developmental funding. sigh. I still had another big grant that I was preparing to submit to in the summer, but with the COVID-19 pandemic issues, the non-profit organization just signaled that they were running into a funding issue and were putting their grant program on pause. bummer.
Meanwhile I had also been honored to have this project recently featured for an Artsy.net solo exhibition and as a result, I am in the early stage discussions for a 2021 exhibition opportunity. I had also utilized a similar Words + Art diptych layout to develop a short series of artwork about the COVID-19 pandemic, which I recently submitted to a gallery which was looking for COVID-19 related artwork. So the Gardening For Ordnance project was not entirely idle, and it did provide some inspiration for related artwork.
I have now decided that one of my COVID-19 projects will be resuming work towards finishing the Gardening For Ordnance project since this is going to be all on me. During my recent research about the Trabuco Bombing Range I found some more government documents to work with and I am now testing some of that appropriated text against the diptychs I have already completed. I am looking for any opportunities to help strengthen the existing artwork, such as the one featured above.
Btw, one of the issues with taking more photographs with my expired film for this project is that my pro-processing photo lab due to COVID-19 is temporarily shut down. Nevertheless, I can still go out and take the photographs I think I need to fill in some narrative gaps, I just need to wait to have the film processed. That may just drive me nuts. I understand the need to shelter-in-place, but this is wearing on me.
Fortunately I just completed a retrospective book review about the late Ralph Eugene (Gene) Meatyard, whose creative endeavors had to take a back seat to his day job and he would find that his film might need to sit for a few months until he found the time to process it. It is a nice read on creativity and occasionally the need for patience. Point well taken; we will all get through this pandemic sooner or later…
Cheers, stay healthy and safe,
Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) Faculty Exhibition, in Los Angeles at the new LACP gallery, located at 566 Washington Blvd. The exhibition opened March 21st
and the closing reception is Saturday, April, 18, 2020, from 7-10pm. TBD
Update! Medium Photo 2020 Workshop: Developing a Creative Book workshop that I will be leading, is now rescheduled for September 24 – 27th, 2020, a four-day extended weekend workshop in San Diego.
Medium Photo 2020 Lecture Series, I will be giving a one-evening lecture Artist Books as Art Objects on
Friday, March 20th, from 7:30 – 9pm at the You Belong Here artist venue, located at 3619 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, California 92104. TBD