Save The Date March 22: Osceola Refetoff “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” at Gallery 825
Here in Los Angeles, we live in a desert, a desert with green lawns and swimming pools. Some joke that L.A. is a also a cultural desert, though we know better. The desert haunts us in here, especially now in times of drought, and the desert also haunts the modern American psyche. The arid sands, the relentless sun punish and cleanse, while the shimmering oasis offers false redemption.
In “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain,” a solo exhibition hosted by the Los Angeles Art Association opening March 22, 2014 at Gallery 825, Osceola Refetoff photographs the desert as the last refuge of irredeemable and often discarded dreams, documenting the California desert in relationship to human activity. Using windows as the central theme, Refetoff shoots the desert from inside structures–trailers, migrant workers’ homes–some of which have already been torn down to make way for wind and solar projects, thus capturing the inevitable destruction that makes way for “progress,” the ongoing decay of human enterprise.
What will be lost when the desert becomes more developed, and what will become of the loose patchwork of struggling communities, military compounds and vast open spaces, long a refuge for loners, dreamers, and broken spirits that manage to survive beyond the urban sprawl? Refetoff gives us the vistas that have been etched on the American consciousness and and shows us the ruins of hope with this stunning series.
Osceola Refetoff’s “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” is the first material manifestation of an ongoing collaboration with writer/historian Christopher Langley that will document our human legacy in the California desert at the newly launched website DesertDispatches.com.
Osceola Refetoff holds an M.F.A. from New York University’s Graduate Film Program, where he earned Paulette Goddard and Warner Bros Fellowships. His photography was featured in the two most recent Art of Photography exhibitions at the San Diego Art Institute; the Lucie Foundation exhibit at Art Platform-LA and MOPLA’s Los Angeles: A Place in the Sun curated by Audrey Landreth. Refetoff is a freelance photographer and location scout, focusing on architectural photography and environmental portraiture. His award-winning editorial photography appears in Hemispheres (United) and Go (Southwest Airlines) magazines, among others. His images will also be featured in the upcoming “Fact+Friction” exhibit opening April 26 as part of Month of Photography Los Angeles.
“High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” opens March 22, 2014 with an artist’s reception from 6pm to 9pm. “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain” runs through April 22, 2014.