An ominous reminder of the California dream, Vincent Lamouroux’s Projection glows with a ghost-like intensity that reflects the history of the motel it took over. The Sunset Pacific Lodge was formerly nicknamed the Bates Motel due to its location on Bates Ave. and Sunset Blvd., and with its dark past, also echos the creepy vibes of the motel in Hitcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho.
Projection // My Belonging
The motel was cited by Los Angeles as one of the city’s most dangerous spots once it’s declining sanitary conditions invited in murder, drugs, and prostitution. The property was finally declared a nuisance property in 2002, and just like that, it was abandoned, furnishings and all. It’s mysterious, ghostly vibes remained, attracting many street artists such as Shepard Fairey and Phantom. Lamouroux wanted to breathe life again into this abandoned mid century motor lodge, and by simply whitewashing it with a lime based paint, it has attracted visitors from all over Los Angeles, resulting in a collection of Instagram photos with the hashtag, #projectionla.
Projection // My Belonging
Having visited myself, I was astounded by the symbolism the motel held, everything from the palm trees to the white paint and its perfect location right on the Sunset Strip. On the especially cloudy day that I went, the gray backdrop added another level of eeriness and mystery that made the whole experience a bit more unnerving than it would be under a sunny, blue sky, making the installation truly dynamic. Even painted over, the combination of the building’s structure, palm trees, and billboard conveyed a sense of nostalgia that reminded me of the golden age of Hollywood. It painted a picture in my mind of aspiring actors, singers, and artists flocking to Los Angeles hoping to make it big, and this was the type of modest lodging they could afford while they were out here following their dreams. The whitewash is a representation of that past being erased, but it’s also a symbol of the future— the idea of a blank canvas full of possibilities. The piece is eye catching and affects passers-by in a positive way by having them “project” their own ideas of the LA dream on its white walls.
Projection // WeDesignLA
Unfortunately, the art installation is now closed to the public; however, it remains a piece of California history. As a mirror of LA culture and its community, Projection has become a gathering place for people to interact, reflect, and share stories of their relationship with the city of angels.
Vincent Lamouroux // Timothy Norris
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