by Greg Curtis, Kim Calder & Ariel Evans
Paperback, full color, 116 pages
Independence Day presents a body of photographic work by Greg Curtis including a long poem by Kim Calder and an essay on photography by Ariel Evans.
“An asteroid, volcano, tsunami or alien army draws near and the camera cuts away to pan across groups of people looking towards catastrophe. Intermittently montaged amidst the progressing apocalypse, each clip lasts for a few seconds. All peoples in the world—that is the movies’ extras—look up and expect to die; this is all the movie demands its audience to know. These extras work partly like an index finger: they direct us to look at something. They proceed to tell us how to look [unblinkingly] and how to feel [scared, adrenaline-charged]. Greg Curtis pulled stills from such fifteen-or-so-year-old disaster movies. His/this book’s photographs slice still images out of these moving films, to focus on these extras, spectators-of-their-own-deaths. The camera rested on their faces for less than a second in the movies, but Greg’s still slices allow more sustained looks. Main characters embrace each other and their deaths (heroically), but extras run away from ground zero or stare upwards. Extras gaze at the cataclysm with their bodies angled upwards, like your own body when you watch a movie screen. As you look at these extras in the movies, your body echoes theirs in pose. Also you are grouped like them, each of you one of many other bodies.”—Ariel Evans
Greg Curtis' works in photography, video, and installation have been exhibited at Monte Vista Projects, Open House, Institute of Jamais Vu, Weekend, Cirrus Gallery, and Land of Tomorrow, among others. He has also organized exhibitions at Ms Barbers and Elephant. He received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and lives and works in Los Angeles.
Kim Calder studies post-1945 American literature and theory at the University of California, Los Angeles and is Editorial Director at Les Figues Press. Her work has appeared in The Believer, Jacket2, The Los Angeles Review of Books/Quarterly, and The Volta. She is currently working on two manuscripts: The Nervous System, an autotheoretical work, and her dissertation, which examines the centrality of indigeneity and indigenous cosmologies in contemporary American literatures of resistance.
Ariel Evans is a writer, curator, and editor as well as a PhD candidate in Art History at The University of Texas at Austin, where she specializes in the history of photography, feminist praxis, and post-war American art. She founded the publishing collective Pastelegram, and previously was the Assistant Editor for Art Lies magazine. Her writing has appeared in Art in America, caa.reviews, Modern Painters, Conflict of Interest, and Mimeo Mimeo.