Some Los Angeles Apartments
Some Los Angeles Apartments is a remake of the original book by the American artist Ed Ruscha, published in 1965. In Jóhannsson's version, which is as deprived of people as the original, Ruscha's apparent lack of artistic skill, and his challenge of what it means to be an artist, is taken a step further: The young artist has - in a classic avant-garde spirit - not made any pictures himself. In this way his book is composed as an extension of Ruscha's own words regarding his publications as readymade collections.
The occasionally grainy and unfocused Google-pictures in Jóhannsson's book give, however, associations to a theme that in one sense has become all-pervasive and considerably more relevant today than in Ruscha's era: surveillance. Google's enthusiasm for documentation is today a part of a literally quite different, and more extensive and disagreeable, picture universe than the Ruscha-photographs were, spread as they were in a low quantity amongst art enthusiasts. How the Google-photographs will be used and function is continually an unanswered question, contributing to the connection of Jóhannsson's book to a larger world of business and politics.
A sneaking suspicion of danger that was barely noticeable in Ruscha's pictures - or in the minds of their beholders - makes Sveinn Fannar Jóhannsson's "Some Los Angeles Apartments" a document that doesn't just have a historical dimension, but is of and for our time's everyday life.
Published by Multinational Enterprises Publishing
48 pages, 14,3 x 18 cm
Edition of 500
Unsigned and unnumbered
Text by Kåre Bulie