Projection as paradise in Sarah Morris' Los Angeles
Hobson, Taylor Ryan
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This paper considers Sarah Morris’ 2004 film Los Angeles and its potential success as a “city portrait,” a description encourage by the artist’s work in both painting and film. The film invokes a number of established cinematic modes – both avant-garde and commercial – without explicitly favoring any one tradition. Morris thereby appropriates the visual vocabulary of Hollywood while maintaining a distance that reveals her cinematic maneuvers as such. As a portrait of the city‘s own visual language, I argue that Los Angeles articulates a divide between literal, urban location and Hollywood simulation. Furthermore, a reading of the film alongside the fragmented, commercial form of the feature trailer reveals the inherent ability of the cinematic medium to perpetuate desire and projected fantasy within its spectator.