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Shed on Passive Sands
Photographs, 24″ x 32″ Archival Pigment Prints, 2018
Shed on Passive Sands (2018), is a weave of historical threads that creates a fabric of the place. These histories, spanning over 12,000 years, are comprised of the Dunes of the Chumash, a people nearly erased by the Spanish Missionaries; the Dunes of Cecil B. DeMille’s ancient Egyptian The Ten Commandments movie set; the Dunes of the Dunites, the artists, poets, nudists, and mystics living in the Dunes during the depression era; the Dunes of photographers Edward Weston and Ansel Adams’ sensual perfection; and the Dunes of the current day Dunites – the ATV riders who tear through the endangered plant species and pollute the air.
The seemingly empty expanse of sand of the Oceano Dunes has been a fertile tabula rasa for each successive cultural engagement. Today it has become a political and environmental battleground. The 18-mile coastal Dunes complex north of Santa Barbara, CA allows driving cars and off-road vehicles on the beach and the Dunes in the approximately 5-mile area owned by State Parks. The current 8-year war is between the multi-million dollar ATV industry and those residents in the adjacent communities whose health has been compromised due to the dust the ATVs create.
While the white dunes often appear as a blank, shifting landscape, through media and image, this project aims to pull up a history from beneath the surface to populate the Dune site with a more profound sense of place and meaning. This specific place is also representative of the larger current climate in the United States, the clashing of environmental conservation and public health with economic interest, and a document of the impact of the social landscape on yet another unique physical landscape and population of indigenous people.
Recent exhibitions including images from this series:
Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston, MA
Gallery NAGA, Boston, MA
San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA
University Art Gallery, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA
for more images from this series: http://lanazcaplan.com/shed-on-passive-sands/
Postcards from the Hanging
Photographs, 20″ x 21″ sepia-toned silver gelatin prints in French mats, 2001-present
Recorded across three continents, this series includes photographs and short films from sites that have been used for public executions at different times in history.
When I began this ongoing project, there was petitioning for Timothy McVeigh’s execution to be televised, a modern form of a public arena. The desire to watch or show people being killed, as perceived justice or as a political act, is still alive today all over the world evidenced in the ghastly videotaped beheadings broadcast on Youtube and social media sites.
I began this project with questions; What does a society choose to show of its history in public space? Are shifting values visible in the function of the space? Can images reflect the power of society to evolve a public consensus on state killing?
I found some sites that were quite venerated as places for public execution, such as St. Peter’s Square in Rome or the field in Salem, MA (now named Gallows Hill Park) where accused witches were hung. Some places are now well known for other reasons, such as the Louvre, in front of which the guillotine was installed during the French Revolution. The different ways in which the history of these places has been dealt with (some capitalizing on the executions, others concealing the execution history with other events that also occurred in these places) spoke more to me about present day morality and values in each country than the abolishment or continuation of capital punishment in those countries.
The photographs in this series are sepia-toned silver prints presented in French mats. This presentation is a reference to historical photographs and cataloguing of images made for documentation purposes. Each of the mats have calligraphic titles describing the dates and types of executions that occurred on that site, rather than the customary name and place pictured.
In 2007, the book “Sites of Public Execution” was published in conjunction with a solo exhibition of this series at the Danforth Museum (MA).
for more images from this series: http://lanazcaplan.com/postcards-from-the-hanging/
Subway Sleepers, Beijing
Tintypes, 8″ × 10″, 2014
Subway Sleepers uses the form of the historic process of tintypes to transform digital images of contemporary people sleeping on the subway of Beijing into reminiscences of death portraits in a reflection on the effects of the pace of modern life.