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West of Here. LA Landscapes and Grand Theft Auto V. Edited by Leonardo Magrelli. Essays by Brit Salvesen and Mirjam Kooiman.

West of Here.

LA Landscapes and Grand Theft Auto V.

Edited by Leonardo Magrelli. Essays by Brit Salvesen and Mirjam Kooiman.
Yoffy Press, 2021. 80 pp., 7xx½".

Publisher's Description

All the images in this work are taken in Grand Theft Auto V —a video game set in Los Santos, an “open world” scenario that closely resembles Los Angeles and its surroundings. Turned into a virtual replica, the city looks familiar and recognizable, but at the same time, pieces are missing, distances are altered, dimensions changed.

Instead of photographing directly “in-game”, all the images are originally taken by different players around the world, to further shed a light on the ubiquitous proliferation of photography and to create a single narrative out of a “collective memory” of a place that doesn’t exist. While exploring the possibilities and the meanings of photographing a virtual place, the work also addresses the truthfulness of photography and our belief in this medium as a trace of reality.

Collected from the web, edited, cropped and turned to black and white by the author, the images lose their virtual evidence and blur the distinction between false and real. To some, these pictures may resemble those of many great photographers who worked in L.A. widely throughout the second half of the past century. With their own perspective, these artists all contributed to the creation of an image of the city that is still vivid and lasting.

Reviewed by Blake Andrews on photo-eye Blog.


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