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Diane Meyer: Without a Car in the World

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Without A Car In The World: 100 Car-less Angelinos Tell Stories of Living in Los Angeles

October 17 – December 11, 2009

Opening Reception; October 17, 2009 6:00 p.m-9:00 p.m

Santa Monica, CA –Without A Car In The World (100 Car-less Angelinos Tell Stories of Living in Los Angeles) opens Saturday, October 17, at the 18th Street Arts Center. This final exhibition of 2009 features 100 photographs by artist Diane Meyer with accompanying narratives from persons who live without a car in Los Angeles.

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 11am-6pm. 18th Street Arts Center is located at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica. For further information and images please visit our pressroom/gallery at http://18thstreet.org/pressroom.html

Considering The Unthinkable, Angelinos Getting Rid of Their CARs

According to the 2000 US Census, Los Angeles County residents are more than twice as likely to have 3 or more cars than to have no car.  In this exploration of a car-less society, Ms. Meyer re-envisions a new Los Angeles through images and text from the many interviews she conducted.  The exhibition addresses how car culture has shaped psychological, spatial and geographic perceptions of the city. The subjects of Ms. Meyer’s photographs have given up their cars for a variety of reasons ranging from ideological, financial or health-related issues.  Some are motivated by anxiety after experiencing traumatic car accidents, while others are involved in environmental activism or simple disinterest in car culture. By bringing together these various voices through the images and text, the exhibition will ultimately address transportation alternatives. It will also provide a voice to a group of individuals often perceived to be disenfranchised in some way for not having an automobile.

For the last year Diane Meyer conducted conversational interviews with a diverse cross section of Los Angeles citizens. Each interview was recorded and the subjects were photographed. The exhibition of photographs is comprised of 100 photographs of individuals juxtaposed with text narratives formulated from the interviews. Ms. Meyer interviewed the participants in her project while riding public transportation throughout the city, making it a point to travel on different bus lines that intersect diverse neighborhoods within the city

Diane Meyer is an Assistant Professor of Photography at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited at a wide range of venues throughout the United States and Canada including solo exhibitions at AIR Gallery, NYC; and the Society of Contemporary Photography, Kansas City; and group exhibitions at The Bronx Museum of Art, NYC; Jessica Murray Projects, NYC; Jen Bekman Gallery, NYC; Spaces, Cleveland; Arthouse, Austin; Cuchifritos Gallery, NYC; Lennox Contemporary, Toronto; Rotunda Gallery, NYC; Fox Gallery, Phildephia; and others. She has been an artist in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon, and the CUE Art Foundation. Ms. Meyer was a former artist in residence at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. She recently gave up her car and is navigating the city using a combination of walking, biking, and taking the bus.

About 18th Street Arts Center

18th Street annually sets a theme for its exhibitions, which acts as a unifying principle for the curators and artists working with the center. The theme for 2009 is Almost Utopia: Los Angeles in 2019. 18th Street Artistic Director Clayton Campbell says “I am asking the curators and artists involved with Almost Utopia to look forward a mere ten years with optimism. And, to find the desire to expand our worldview through the art making and ‘outside the box’ ideas of our guest artists. We are in a proactive era, yet remain mindful of the challenges in accomplishing reform and improvements in quality of life issues. In a new economic reality and rapidly evolving political and social infrastructure in California, Los Angeles is changing at record speed in ways yet to be fully understood. Almost Utopia may provide some clues to the direction already underway. We are pleased to have Diane Meyers’ exhibition be the capstone on this extraordinary year of research and inquiry by contemporary artists at 18th Street.”

18th Street Arts Center programs are generously funded by the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Arts Commission, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, California Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the Getty Foundation.

18th Street Arts Center’s mission is to provoke public dialogue through contemporary art making. 18th Street is a community which values art making as an essential component of a vibrant, just and healthy society.

-End December 11, 2009


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