Jonathan and I had fun exploring the motel installation on Sunset Blvd. yesterday. It’s a temporary art piece by french artist Vincent Lamouroux, supported by Please Do Not Enter. He whitewashed the old abandoned, derelict Sunset Pacific Motel and the landscape/palms with a lime wash. It’s pretty striking on its own, but there will also be some sort of projection on it April 26th.
It was like a shimmering ghost of Los Angeles past. A cathedral to the Boulevard of Lost Dreams. An architectural model before it was ever built. A party inside a memory.
I was most struck by the white palms. They were disturbing and iconic. And were both great looking and fake. And made me think of fake palms they use in malls and in projects in the Middle East and China. But they are real. And probably full of rats. And we love them.
All the shadow play on the building, the textures of the palms, fence, barbed wired reminded me of a textile or tapestry. Stitching. We were there just before sunset and the light was bright and shifting rapidly.
The folded leaves of the fan palm. It must have been difficult to paint them with the lime.
The artist took the shittiest building on that stretch of Sunset Blvd and make it something for Angelinos to be proud of. A peek through the fence at the inner court yard. I think this is where the projection will be on Sunday. I was disappointed that the LA trash bin was not painted white. That would have been a great detail.
Everyone was craning their necks to take in the signs and palms. Strangers on the sidewalk were talking to one another and discussing art, theory, city planning, Los Angeles. It was kind of amazing. But I couldn’t help but think about the other people who once stayed here. People who picked up Route 66 in Illinois or Oklahoma and who followed their dreams and Route 66 as it turned into Sunset Blvd. and who took a right and pulled into this parking lot looking for a room. Welcome to Los Angeles.
There is also this stage like quality about the place. You feel like you are on a set. Everyone is striking a pose. Instagramming. The dress I’m wearing is by Osklen, a Brazilian brand that does edgy resort wear.
And fittingly, I guess, the motel is going to be torn down soon to make room for condos soon. It was the developer who made the property available to the artist. LA is getting denser. It needs to get denser. And it is critical that we remember the ghosts of the past, as we decide what to keep and what to let go.