"Zuma" by John Divola

June 18, 2014

A lot can happen to a building in two years. And that’s just what photographer John Divola shows in his 1979 project “Zuma.” In this collection of photographs, Divola explores the relationship between inevitable, natural weathering and intentional, human destruction, including graffiti and vandalism. These two forces work together in cycles. Divola spray paints the building’s walls, which are then partially burned down, leaving only traces of paint. He continuously reapplies the paint in different patterns, which are eventually burned again. The transformation of the walls is emotional and gripping, especially due to the changing sunset and seascape visible through shattered windows. This was the first of Divola’s conceptual photographic works that brought him fame. His more recent projects can be found on his website, while “As Far As I Could Get” is showing at LACMA through July 6,


text by Anna Capurso