The Wild Lhasa-Apsos of Van Nuys...
The Valley, the part that isn't an auction house, is an "authentic" place by some barometers, mostly because the landscape is hellish and the people here aren't visibly striving to become a glorified ideas of themselves. No half million dollar Eames chairs to whisk one away from miserable stink. Instead, fat sexless greebs stagger expressionless about the sun-baked streets, inhaling bus fumes, waddling through supermalls; zombies knocking into each other as another Ding Dong chokes down a pie hole. These people are authentic because they are not so aware, goes the theory. Because the industrial cancer flows freely in and around them unchecked. (Conversely, many establishments where we live post signs that proudly state the house toxicity. I suppose that's a step forward...) The so-called creative class, to which I apparently belong, strives to recreate this authenticity, because it contains undigested kernels of soul. but I can't help but notice a whiff of self-loathing in all of this.
Anyhow, I know this kind of talk pegs me as a cynical, judgmental creep. Civilization's boomerangs of disappointment chop off many heads, why spare my own? Instead, headless, let me shine a light on the freely wandering dogs I've been spotting lately. No signs of masters. Just eager prancing canines, Chihuahuas and Miniature Schnauzers, and other overbred toys. They somehow find their way out of captivity and furrow doggily among the piss-encrusted sidewalk grasses, or tiptoe bravely into traffic. Always a smile. A wink. Perhaps a local grandmother, consumed by residual mothering, chases after, shaking down citizens, trying to muster a freak out that will match her Armageddon fantasies.
(Still from "How to Appear Invisible" by Allora and Calzadilla)