lecture:Why Ruscha

Past Event

  • This event occured on
    Thursday, January 16, 2019

In 2012, the Getty Research Institute acquired the Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha’s Streets of Los Angeles archive. This archive contains more than a half million images of Ruscha’s negatives, digital files, and contact sheets spanning five decades, as well as the complete production archive of Ruscha's seminal artist book Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966). The GRI is currently digitizing a substantial portion of this collection for greater public access and has invited four interdisciplinary research teams to engage with the archive over the next three years. 

Mark Shiel and Amy Murphy are members of a four-person team selected by the GRI to explore this archive. In their talk, they will discuss not only the ongoing value of Ruscha’s Streets of Los Angeles project, but its relationship to other works that also define 1960s Los Angeles visual culture. Shiel will share his own research on mid-century Los Angeles from his forthcoming book focusing on the neighborhoods of Century City, Hollywood, Venice and Watts. Addressing the spring lecture series’ theme of “Capital," Shiel and Murphy will work to speculate on the potential connection of Ruscha’s representational approach adopted for his Streets of Los Angeles project and the social and financial forces at play during this period. 

Amy Murphy is currently an Associate Professor at USC’s School of Architecture. She has published several pieces examining the relationship between our cinematic post-apocalyptic imagination and the city, including “Nothing Like New: Our Post-Apocalyptic Imagination as Utopian Desire.” She is currently completing a new manuscript entitled After the Symphony: Cinematic Representations of the American City 1938-1978.

Mark Shiel is Reader in Film Studies and Urbanism in the Department of Film Studies at King’s College London. He is also the author of Hollywood Cinema and The Real Los Angeles and Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the Cinematic City, and co-editor of Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context and Screening the City.

Photo courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery.

Related Links: Mark Shiel's Bio,  Amy Murphy's Bio