“Where We Are” is about the place we call L.A. and the often avoided conversation Angeleños have about its past and its conflicted present. I believe places matter, but their intersection with our lives is often obscured or ignored. And if we reach out in longing, we grasp mostly clichés of a city that’s always painted in the colors of smog, that’s always seen from a height, from a seat in a descending jetliner, from a freeway overpass. From there, the city looks like a collection of absences: the absence of hierarchies, of a center, of any authenticity. Finally, we’re absent, too, displaced and wrapped in reveries of substitute cities more adequate to the demands of our desire. “Where We Are” questions, argues, reflects, and in other ways challenges these Los Angeles clichés. I’m not a historian. I don’t live in the City of Los Angeles. I don’t drive. My qualifications for writing about a place I love. ~ D.J. Waldie
Bugs, bones, birds, and millions upon million more things fill the museum's collections, second only to the Smithsonian's. But there's nothing dusty about this 100-year-old archive of what was and what is Los Angeles.
The distinction between east and west in Los Angeles has been a fixture of the city's landscape from the beginning. But does that distinction -- even though it persists -- shape what Los Angeles is becoming?
The Getty's "Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940 - 1990" and the Huntington's "Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream" consider how Los Angeles sought to be forever modern.
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