All across the world a uniform, homogenous model of development, inspired by Los Angeles style urban sprawl – consisting of massive freeways, parking lots, shopping malls and large-scale master planned communities with golf courses – is being stamped onto the earth’s topography. Spot Photo Works is proud to present ANONYMIZATION by Robert Harding Pittman. The exhibition will span from May 2 through July 3, 2015. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, May 2nd from 6-9 pm. Spot Photo Works is located at 6679 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood at the historic Crossroads of the World. Free parking for the reception is available in the Crossroads lot behind the gallery on Las Palmas Ave north of Sunset Blvd. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
The globalized model of architecture, which ANONYMIZATION is concerned with, does not respect or adapt itself to the cultural or natural environment onto which it is implanted. With this anonymous type of development come not only the destruction of the environment, but also a loss of culture and roots, as well as alienation. As we have seen in recent history, fervent overdevelopment has led to crises, not only financial, but also environmental and social and some even say psychological.
German – American photographer/filmmaker Robert Harding Pittman began work on ANONYMIZATION while attending graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts where he received a dual MFA in Photography and Film/Video. A Fulbright grant took him to Spain and he has since continued to photograph Los Angeles style development in Spain, France, Germany, Greece, Dubai and South Korea. The world was in the midst of a construction boom when the project began, and as world economics has foundered, cranes have come to a screeching halt, often leaving a trail of structural debris behind. Robert Harding Pittman’s book ANONYMIZATION was published in 2012 by Kehrer Verlag featuring writings by environmentalist Bill McKibben and former George Eastman House curator, Alison Nordström, along with Pittman’s photographs. The project has been nominated for the Prix Pictet and the German Photobook Award.
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Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA) blankets the city in images this month with a broad spectrum of exhibitions. H. Lee, the pseudonym of the photographer who spent more than a year documenting the daily business of covert cannabis farming in Northern California, continues her exhibition of Grassland at Spot Photo Works‘ Hollywood gallery through April 28, 2015.
Grassland reveals the deep, intricate world of private people operating in the shadowy evergreen fog of Humboldt County, California. All is not obscured from her camera, however, as she was granted access, but only if she obscured her own identity as well as that of the groups of people gathering to work the grow houses, package and sort the harvest and survey the crops in the outcroppings between the forests.
Grassland is a look at an intimate, involved world, secretive and skeptical, that is rapidly changing as legality spreads. H. Lee’s subtle and quiet images reveal a way of life that likely will soon be dwarfed as the interests of big business become more deeply interested and invested.
Copies of H. Lee’s 2014 book Grassland, published by Keher Verlag are available for sale at Spot Photo Works. Spot Photo Works, 6679 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, email@example.com
While living within a community of cannabis growers in Northern California, photographer H. Lee documented both a clandestine way of life and the process of cultivation in all its stages, culminating in the publication of her 2014 book, Grassland. Spot Photo Works is pleased to present the first West Coast exhibition of Grassland, opening on March 7, 2015 with a reception for the artist from 6 – 9pm. The exhibition continues through April 28, 2015 with regular gallery hours of Monday through Friday, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.
Spot Photo Works is located at 6679 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. You’ll find free parking for the opening in the Crossroads of the World lot (behind the gallery), just north of Sunset Blvd. on Los Palmas Ave.
Grassland is an essential California story – not so unlike the popular farm-to-table stories of Sonoma and Napa valleys. The one chief difference has been the volatile legal status of the crop and H. Lee’s document, photographed between 2010 and 2013, catches the last days of pot farming at its most secretive.
With historic changes regarding the acceptance of marijuana settling into American society, a fundamental shift is in motion between those who seek to keep it illegal, and the overwhelming populist appeal for legal reform. For decades, farmers in Northern California have quietly operated, hiding their gardens from law enforcement. As new legal markets have begun to emerge, marijuana agriculture is moving into plain view. Grassland offers an intimate view of the epicenter of cannabis cultivation in California, where a sizable community is shaped by a plant regarded as both magical and medicinal; a plant whose cultivation holds the promise of profit, and despite changes in state policy, possible jail time.