Los Angeles, CA (August 29, 2018) - Los Angeles photographer Rafael Cardenas opens his next solo show, Landscapes and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place by Rafael Cardenas on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm. Media is invited for a press preview on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm.
With this series, Cardenas deepens his connection to local history and community with hauntingly captured photographs of small businesses, generational homes, empty lots and legacies lost as a result of changing demographics, economic policies and political climates. The images include stunning aerial shots taken from a helicopter, juxtaposing the vast landscape of Los Angeles with the intimate images of the very people that dwell within the landscapes. Filled wall-to-wall with 60 color photographs the exhibition offers an added time-lapse video installation that is made up of over 10,000 images.
“It’s fascinating to me how LA is such a huge part of my identity. I have inhaled this air for over 40 years. The city is definitely part of my process and continues to shape my photographic trajectory,” explains Cardenas, who was raised in East Los Angeles.
“Landscapes and Land Dwellers explores the layers of Los Angeles’s landscape, capturing the ways people have inscribed, erased, and re-inscribed its natural and manmade features. His photographs reveal historic contexts, contemporary realities, and states of transition that link the past and the present,” said Erin M. Curtis, Ph.D., senior curator at LA Plaza and co-curator of the exhibition.
People as land dwellers negotiate landscapes to create place; negotiating family, economics, and political moments. Cardenas uses his camera to reflect the lives of Angelenos in the ever-changing landscapes of the communities he knows best, documenting vibrant lives, legacies and resilience. Cardenas includes his own poetry in the exhibition offering a multi-layered examination of how he sees the changing landscape of our lives:
I tasted everything today
Last week there was a car accident there
Last year there was no pharmacy there
In the 80s there was a dirt lot there
Maybe a smilodon once walked there (22-34)
The exhibition is co-curated by Erin M. Curtis, Ph.D., senior curator and Mariah Shevchuk, associate curator at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, located in downtown Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rafael Cardenas (1970) was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Eastside Luv and Espacio 1839, the Vincent Price Museum and in group exhibitions at Avenue 50 Studio, La Bodega Gallery, Self Help Graphics & Art, and the Vincent Price Art Museum. Cardenas is a self-taught photographer who has been practicing since 2010. A publication of his works, MAS ACA: Further Here, was released in 2016. www.rafa.la
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Refreshments will be served.
September 8, 2018 – March 25, 2019
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
LINK TO HIGH RES IMAGES
LA Plaza will host a series of free public programs complementing Landscapes and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place by Rafael Cardenas throughout the run of the exhibition. lapca.org
Opening Reception | Saturday, September 8, 2018 | 3-5pm
Celebrate the opening of Landscapes and Land Dwellers. To RSVP, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Talk: Rafael Cardenas | Thursday, September 20, 2018 | 7pm
Join Rafael Cardenas for a gallery walkthrough of Landscapes and Land Dwellers and hear his personal insights about documenting L.A.’s people and places.
Roundtable Discussion | Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 7pm
Join Rafael Cardenas, Director of Self-Help Graphics Betty Avila, and prominent artists for a discussion about art and creative processes. Stay for the Q&A!
La Lunada: L.A.’s Landscapes in Notes and Words | Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 7pm
Enjoy a night of music with Los Angeles-based jazz band Hayokaht as well as poetry from a selected group inspired by Rafael Cardenas’ photographs.