Kim Stringfellow:  Greetings from the Salton Sea
August 6 – September 3, 2005
Opening reception and book signing: Saturday, August 6, 2-5 pm

Michael Dawson Gallery
535 North Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90004
(323) 469-2186, FAX (323) 469-9553
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Kim Stringfellow, “Bombay Beach”, 2000, digital C-print.

Michael Dawson Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by contemporary photographer Kim Stringfellow in conjunction with the publication of her new book published by The Center for American Places and the University of Chicago Press.

In Greetings from the Salton Sea, Stringfellow explores the history of California’s largest lake from its disastrous beginnings--the “sea” was formed when Colorado River levees broke and spilled into a depression 280 feet below sea level--to its heyday as a desert paradise in the 1950s, to its current state as an environmental battleground.

Stringfellows’s photographs of the Salton Sea lead the viewer through a world of abandoned structures and other desolate places; to collected artifacts, both natural and humanmade, all beautifully ravaged by the harsh desert elements. For Stringfellow, these relics of natural processes and human history serve as powerful icons of place.

Like the 400-plus species of birds that use the lake as a halfway point in their annual migration, developers flocked to the water too: they planted palm trees, built golf courses, and hired showstoppers like the Beach Boys to perform at area resorts. These days, politicians seek to redirect the lake’s only source of replenishment- agricultural runoff from surrounding farms-to water golf courses and green lawns elsewhere. Greetings from the Salton Sea’s photographs capture a war between policymakers, environmentalists, developers, and the individuals still living along the lake’s shores. As Stringfellow aptly documents, it is a war for water and, ultimately, for existence.

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