Burned

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Griffith Park is approximately 3,000 acres of mostly undeveloped land and it is what makes living in a large megalopolis like LA a wonderful experience for me. I walked my dog there every day and because she was a hunting dog, she particularly liked a box canyon called Vermont Canyon because the wildlife is plentiful and she was often lucky enough to flush birds from the dense underbrush. In the Fall of 1997 there was a lightning fire in the canyon and once the earth had cooled and the firefighters had retreated from the scene, I began exploring the ashen remains. I began photographing Vermont Canyon in January of 1998. Once or twice a month I hiked up the trail with a 4 X 5 Field camera photographed the confounding visual information that I found there. The weather pattern named ‘El Nino’ dumped a deluge of water on Los Angeles that Winter and Spring and the re-growth over the charred hills and canyons was fantastic and irrepressible. The shape of the land once bared before my camera kept changing with the light and the voracious vegetation. I began to think of this park as an extension of the urban transformation found in the endless grid of changing architecture that surrounds the park. Los Angeles history changes through constant rewrites and new edits. The buildings disappear through riots, floods, fires and redevelopment and it is hard to remember what was there before it changed.