sometimes not always

© Lucy Parakhina

The photograph was taken at Zzyzx, a small settlement and Desert Studies Centre in the Mojave National Preserve, USA, on a solo drive through south California in July 2016. The site can be seen as the definition of a constructed place: a small oasis surrounded by a perfect row of palm trees and vegetation, in the middle of a dry lake bed in the desert, with a name specifically designed to be the last word in the English language, given by a charlatan whose entire identity and claim to the land was fabricated.

An arrangement of concrete objects appears to extend out of the photo in the installation, their size an exaggeration of the perspective. Like the painted tunnels in the Looney Tunes cartoons, that are either portals or rock walls depending on if you’re the Road Runner or The Coyote, the work is a playful monument to the process of projection and construction involved in reading any photographic image.