Disappearing into the Trees: Works by Ken Gonzales-Day
Small Gallery, February 11 to April 27, 2012
Artist Walk Through: Sat. Feb. 11, 4 p.m.
Opening Reception: Sat. Feb. 11, 5 to 7 p.m.
Disappearing into the Trees is an exhibition featuring two inter-related series of work by internationally acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day: Searching for California’s Hang Trees and Erased Lynching. Each series is based upon a body of research, conducted by the artist, which reveals the forgotten history of lynching in the American West.
Hang Trees is a series of landscape photographs created over a six year period in which Gonzales-Day documented the locations of lynchings throughout California. The focal points of these images are the trees from which the victims, often Latinos, were once hung. In the other series, Erased Lynching, the artist manipulates historical postcards and archival materials that capture the scenes of actual lynchings. The artist, through a digital slight of hand, removes the lynching victim’s lifeless body from the spectacle leaving a haunting and poignant void. In both series the artist plays with absence to illustrate the ongoing practice of historical erasure. This exhibition will also feature historical archives collected by the artist for his related publication, Lynching in the West: 1850-1935.