Clockshop (@clockshopla) contacted me at the beginning of quarantine to document artist Carmen Argote (@carmen.argote) on one of her regular walking routes through the city. The stills I shot of her thinking/walking practice were to be incorporated into Carmen’s short film, Last Light, that Clockshop was producing.
Last Light is a meditation on walking and memory in Los Angeles. The film explores notions of selfhood under the dual threat of contagion and isolation. Combining video and still images of an evacuated city with an intimate voiceover, the narrator reflects on feelings of vulnerability and betrayal, and draws on childhood memories to make sense of a city transformed.
Carmen has always walked to process the city around her. And even then, as the city quarantined, she still walked her routes every week. On our second walk together, we met just before sunset and walked into the night from Union Station towards Boyle Heights and through Lincoln Heights. We walked 5 hours through the darkened city, the full moon guiding us. We were witnessing and wondering as we moved our bodies through our city. I will truly never forget it. Me, Carmen, my camera. The city. It was perfect.
Here’s a selection of images from our walks, but you should really join New Museum (@newmuseum) tomorrow, Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00PM for a live conversation with Carmen and curator Margot Norton via Zoom.
Directed by Carmen Argote
Edited by Aldo Velasco
Sound design & Composition by Johnny Wilson
Camera & Still photography by Carmen Argote and Gina Clyne
Produced by Clockshop
Support for this project is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Art Alliance, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.