The gallery is pleased to announce that Ken Gonzales-Day will lead a walking tour around historical sites in downtown Los Angeles to that expands on the history of lynching in California. Organized by Bridge Projects, the in person event will take place on Saturday, October 29, 2022 beginning at Union Station at 10 AM.
The walking tour will revisit places and events made infamous in the first decades of Los Angeles – a period that was colored by great social, economic, and cultural unrest. The modern city has erased much of this past, but there are still places where the old city can be found, and like a war-torn battlefield, it demands recognition for its dead.
In the early 2000s, Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day embarked on an extensive eight year project to research and document confirmed lynching sites in California, culminating with his book Lynching in the West: 1850–1935 and his photographic series titled Searching for California’s Hang Trees.
By documenting the “witness trees” and the environs central to these crimes, the artist offers a “physical testimony” of the more than 350 lynching cases in California between 1850 and 1935, uncovering a dark, often overlooked past and the ongoing racial struggles in America.
Ken Gonzales-Day’s photograph, Two men were taken, included in the exhibition To Bough and To Bend, contributes a powerful example of witness. In the artist’s own words, he seeks through his research-based practice to make “Erasure into a site of production and absence into an effective presence that critically engages viewers and creates new meaning.”