Commonwealth & Council | Cayetano Ferrer "Memory Screen"

by Christopher Andrew Armstrong

Whether it be the Bradbury building where J.F. Sebastian called his apartment in the original Blade Runner, the Santa Monica Pier where Tom Hanks “ran clear to the ocean,” in Forrest Gump, or the Las Palmas Hotel in Hollywood where Julia Roberts lived in Pretty Woman before Richard Gere came along and swept her off her feet, a pop culture addict can spend weeks wandering around L.A., picking and choosing their favorite locations from their most cherished movies. But one famous setting, which has been consistently appearing in movies since the early 1950’s, such as Grease, Repo Man, Transformers, and The Dark Knight Rises, was demolished in January 2016 due to concerns over its “seismic instability.” The Sixth Street Bridge, a brutalism-inspired, concrete mammoth which connected the Arts District in Downtown, Los Angeles to Boyle Heights, passing over the Los Angeles River.

At Memory Screen, presented by the Los Angeles based artist Cayetano Ferrer who along with appearing on the cover of Flaunt’s Elemental Issue also recently showcased his work at Frieze Los Angeles, the Sixth Street Bridge is given new life as an amalgamation of concrete remnants recovered from the demolition. Situated inside a niche, the distorted fragments are combined with light poles posing as columns and other discarded pieces recovered from reliquaries in order to combine the material history of Los Angeles with the collective memory of the viewer to create something entirely unique. The monument, along with other pieces situated among the gallery, such as a re-imagining of 16th century stained glass windows, uses various Los Angeles mythologies to challenge the viewer’s frame of reference as they are presented with a hodgepodge of fragments restored from both existing, and imagined, forms. These pieces force the viewer to use the negative space within their memory to construct something whole.

Memory Screen by Cayetano Ferrer can be seen from March 16 - April 27 at Commonwealth & Council,

3006 W 7th Street, Los Angeles California 90005,

Opening reception on March 16th from 4-7 p.m.

Images courtesy of the artist and gallery