INSTALLATION > The Fire, 2020

Before and After
Before and After
acrylic on concrete, burnt walnut support structure
8.5" x 5.5" each painting, structure

The anchor of this temporary, virtual exhibition in June 2020 was a large burned sign that once read "27 Acre Land For Sale, By Owner, 818.568.9999". (See "27 Acre Land For Sale" in the 'Sculpture' section.)

I was originally drawn to the sign after noticing that someone had spray-painted the words “Abolish Class Society" on top of it. A week after I finished a small painting of this tableau in summer 2019, the entire Glendale hillside and sign burned in a wildfire. Shortly after the fire, I removed the charred sign and constructed a modular apparatus with the intent of temporarily displaying it in contested landscapes. Inspired by the history of predatory land use in American history, I wanted to create a memorial to the myth of American Exceptionalism.

In its temporary desert installation, the sign is flanked by six concrete paintings, created from reconstituted chunks of broken red curbs in Los Angeles. (See "The Fire Paintings" in the 'Painting' section.) In the center of the installation are seven bibles, embossed with gold names, punctured with holes corresponding to the number of times the individual was shot.