Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, Chapter 9: Zoe Crosher's LA-LIKE: Shangri-LA'd

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)
Apr 28, 2015 10:11PM

April 3 - May 2015

Zoe Crosher's chapter of The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, entitled LA-LIKE: Shangri-LA’d, was created by staging a lush landscape in the former Communist Chinese Headquarters in Mandarin Plaza in Chinatown in Los Angeles, CA. The entropic installation was documented by Crosher onsite to track the gradually transforming and decaying façade of a landscape. Crosher collaborated with florist Hollyflora to create a wall of flora and fauna that embodied the fantasy of Los Angeles and the promise of the western ideal. As the billboards unfold over space and time traveling west along I-10 in the Palm Springs, CA area, the lush green foliage, symbolic of the promise of abundance/fecundity and in stark contrast to the barren desert landscape, becomes increasingly withered and brown. The falsity of the romanticized notion of Manifest Destiny is manifest in her billboards as the promise of riches slowly degrades and fades away, just as the intangible American Dream slips away from those in its pursuit.

The launch of the billboards was presented in conjunction with Crosher’s installation Expanded LA-LIKE: The Actual Shangri-LA’d Disappearing Wall at the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, which was on view through April 26. Various activations and events took place during the opening weekend celebration, including the unveiling of a version of the flora wall depicted on Crosher’s billboards made in collaboration with Palm Springs floral artist Briana Burt of Eventscapes and with two performances of Scott Benzel’s Desert Center (Composition I-10, Mvmt IV: Dusk), a sound composition designed to respond to the traffic patterns and harmonics of I-10.

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)