Tulare : Jake Longstreth


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From 2008 to 2012, often in the dead of summer, American painter Jake Longstreth photographed the dusty, utilitarian Central Valley of California, a severe inland topography formerly occupied by the massive Tulare Lake. With a tonal restraint echoing the style of his own flatly realistic paintings, Longstreth’s photographs capture the hazy, blinding sunlight and muted palette of this region, a topography that has been transformed from a lush, wild terrain – celebrated by John Muir in 1868 as “one smooth, continuous bed of honey-bloom” – into the monotonously fertile industrial farmland it is today. “Millions of people pass over the dry lake-bed in their cars every year, unaware of its previous existence,” Longstreth notes with ambivalent fascination. “A Taco Bell now stands roughly where the shores of Tulare Lake once were.”

80 pages, hardcover, 25.4 x 29 cm, The Ice Plant (Los Angeles)