“Ever since the Garden of Allah was torn down and supplanted by a respectable savings and loan institution, the furies and ghosts have made their way across Sunset to the Chateau Marmont. The Garden of Allah was originally the villa of Alla Nazimova, a great silent star, until one night when a fire swept down Laurel Canyon, and she was forced to decide what she wanted to save from her grand house – what, in fact, she wanted at all. And she suddenly knew that the flames would consume all she owned, she would leave for New York at once; there was no point in owning anything in Hollywood, and in this she had a curious premonition or grasp of “place.” It’s a morality tale of the unimportance of material things, though there are those who will say it’s about how awful L.A. is.”
– Eve Babitz, Slow Days, Fast Company
Crosher, enamored by Los Angeles, has an obsession that began during her time receiving her MFA from CalArts. Here, she has reimagined her “Day for Night” photographic works. In “Day for Night”,Crosher uses a photography technique used during the Film Noir days of Hollywood, by shooting images in such a way that they look like they were taken at night. She documents the disappearance of the Los Angeles River, using the sunlight to spotlight the image in frame. For this show, she has taken that process a step further and made light boxes out of the photographs, further emulating the film-like aspect by placing lightbehind the image, creating, in essence, a single-shot movie.
In her more recent works – the Prospecting Palm Fronds series – Crosher takes the discarded fronds found on freeways and streets across Los Angeles, and casts them in bronze using a lost- wax casting process. This results in a gilded look that memorializes an item generally overlooked. In this series, Crosher hopes to call attention to the death of an iconic symbol of L.A.: the palm tree. She discovered that the palms are nearing the end of their life-cycle, and are too expensive for the county to replant and maintain their upkeep. “This work is the next iteration in my conceptually mapping what I call the “imaginary” of Los Angeles – a place that primarily exists in people’s imaginations, inspired from what they see in movies, read in books, hear from other people. It’s the false promise that L.A. is founded on, with the disappearing palm tree front and center of that myth.”
“Since the California Water Wars, hidden in the sunlight over Los Angeles, there’s been a shootout over this Desert Queen with amnesia. This particular monarch, let’s call her Los Angeles, will never know who she was because she is always destroyed and rebuilt before her truth ever sees the light of day. The crosshairs of cultural obsessions and illusory lies miss each other like bullets in Chinatown, with tragedy singing to us like a bird in Gilda. Even her palm trees, in all her glory, are falling down, frond by frond. It’s a film noir and the synopsis reads like this: Zoe Crosher, an investigator and artist who specializes in lost histories, meets a glitzy city pretending to be anything but a desert. Claiming that people are watching the city disappear their very eyes, she rushes to collect evidence and objects in time to tell us the truth, before yet another version of LA’s history is forgotten.”
- Hilde Lynn Helphenstein