The University Art Museum, Long Beach presents:
August 29 – October 15, 2006
Opening reception:  Thursday, September 7, 6-8pm

The University Art Museum, located in the Steve & Nini Horn Center on the campus of California State University, Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840
Contact: Sarah G. Vinci, Public Relations Director, (562) 985-4299 /
562.985.5761, Fax 562.985.7602
Web site,
Gallery Hours,  Tuesday - Sunday 12-5, Thursday 12-8 pm, closed Monday, and all University Holidays.

Louis Hock, “Pirámide del Sol: A Monument to Invisible Labor”, 2002, polypropylene plastic baskets, 6.5' x 9' x 9'.

Louis Hock is a San Diego based artist whose films, videotapes, and media installations over the past 20 years have often focused on the U.S./Mexican border region and taken-up issues around undocumented workers and immigration. The UAM will present three major installations -- Pirámide del Sol: a monument to invisible labor (2002), Shelter (2000-06) and American Desert (2006) -- plus a photographic suite, Nightscope Series (2001-03) providing a rare opportunity to survey Hock’s activity from the past six years. Pirámide del Sol: a monument to invisible labor was exhibited most recently at the La Panaderia in Mexico City; it consists of hundreds of polypropylene plastic berry baskets stacked into a pyramid, rising over six feet high in the gallery. The work compares the labor essential to the construction of the ancient Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan to the picking of millions of tons of strawberries in California.

Hock’s Nightscope Series was produced with a night vision camera, a thermal imaging device that uses radiant body heat rather than reflected light to record an image. Thermal imaging cameras, first introduced during the Vietnam War, are today used by the border patrol to detect illegal immigrants crossing into the US at night. The imaging technology reduces the body to an abstract graphic notation. Hock’s eerie, green bodies of illegal immigrants, captured by the cameras of the U.S. border patrol, render the invisible, visible. Hock’s subjects remain poignantly human and real to us. We recognize their forms and identify with their furtive gestures of crouching and running, as yet unaware that their visual capture by the camera has already ensured their subsequent physical arrest.

The installation Shelter is a greenhouse-like structure with a steel frame and glass-paned walls and ceiling. The image of Christ’s face, taken from the Shroud of Turin, fills each of the 620 tiles. The images can be seen from the exterior or viewed while seated on a rotating stool inside. Hock has been studying the Shroud of Turin phenomenon for a number of years, and believes it is a vital intersection of cultural, scientific, and religious issues. Hock states: “Contemporary discussion has moved the Shroud from being primarily a religious icon into a cultural one of tangibility and belief. The fundamental desires of ‘proving’ the authenticity aims to link the past and present, to concretely exhibit a continuity.”

In the installation American Desert, Hock presents his interests in the cultural and political symbolism of the landscape. He combines a diverse range of source material, including appropriated advertisements and cartoons, night vision footage, and video documentation of his own travels in the Southwestern desert. Louis Hock was born in Los Angeles in 1948 and raised in Nogales and Tucson, Arizona. His prolific career, which has spanned more than three decades, comprises work in installation, film and video, public art, and collaborative public projects. He has exhibited at numerous prestigious institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hock has also received significant attention for innovative public art projects that have utilized billboards, freeway signage, books, and the Internet to address social issues. His film and video work, which includes documentary pieces on Mexican border issues and the struggles of Mexican workers in California, have received international distribution and coverage. Hock has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants from such institutions as the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He lives, works, and teaches in San Diego, California.

The works included in Constructed Evidence: Work by Louis Hock, 2000-2006 have been supported by a University of California Academic Senate, Research Grant (2006); University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant (2002), and the California Arts Council, Artists Fellowship (2000). The CSULB Odyssey Program, the Instructionally Related Activities Fund, CSULB College of the Arts, and the Constance W. Glenn Fund support UAM exhibitions and education programs. The Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, Arts Council for Long Beach, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services provide education program funding.

- September 7 Artist Reception, 6-8 pm
- September 12 UAM @ noon, gallery talk with Louis Hock, 12:15 to 1 PM
- October 4 The Border: Constructed Evidence , a panel discussion moderated by Louis Hock


Linesch & Reynolds, “Island Alfa, Design Concept Study”, 1966. Rendering by Gary Seagroves.
© 2006 The Regents of the University of California, University Art Museum, UCSB.

The University Art Museum presents Fantasy Islands: Landscaping Long Beach's Oil Platforms, on view August 29 – October 15, 2006. This unique exhibition explores the design and landscaping of four oil-drilling platforms built between 1965 and 1968 in the outer harbor of Long Beach, California.  Showcasing historic original drawings and period photographs of landscape architect Joseph Linesch (1924-1996) who envisioned the transformation of Long Beach into the “Riviera of the West.” The exhibition also includes contemporary color images by Los Angeles photographer Soo Kim.

In the 1960s, a consortium of oil companies––Texaco, Humble, Union, Mobil and Shell (T.H.U.M.S.) –– set about to create man-made drilling platforms to retrieve the oil from of one of the nation’s largest oil fields, the East Wilmington Reserve, extended over 6,500 acres under Long Beach. T.H.U.M.S. commissioned the local landscape-planning firm of Linesch & Reynolds to environmentally enhance their islands with architectural elements and plantings. What resulted was a camouflage that employed waterfalls, palm trees and shrubs set against abstract, brightly colored concrete walls and 180-foot tall towers–all dramatically lit at night. Linesch & Reynolds worked with sculptor Herbert J. Goldman and landscaper Morgan Evans to create a fantasy environment that would mask the working mechanical equipment of the oil platforms, and relate the islands visually to adjacent urban Long Beach.

Joseph Linesch & Horace E. Reynolds, partners between 1963-71, were an innovative southern California landscape design firm that specialized in environmental planning. Principal Linesch (1924-96) had worked with pioneering landscape designer Morgan “Bill” Evans (1910-2002) to design the landscaping at Disneyland in Anaheim (1954-55), and for Freedomland USA in the Bronx, NY (1959-60). Linesch used these theme park ideas as inspiration for his “fantasy” landscapes enhancing Long Beach’s oil drilling platforms. The results reveal his interest in the aesthetic mitigation of technology — a departure from the contemporary modernist principles of the time, which celebrated industrial structures. On the basis of his work for the T.H.U.M.S. consortium, Linesch was then commissioned to design landscapes for several Southern California Edison substations in the region, which are also included in this exhibition.

Joseph Linesch went on to create designs for many other world-renowned theme parks, including the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center at Walk Disney World, Disneyland in Tokyo, Universal Studios in Florida, Busch Gardens in Houston and Van Nuys, Astroworld in Houston, Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, and the Shinen-kan Pavilion Garden and East Sculpture Garden at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He also devised landscape plans for such projects as multiple-acre regional parks in various locations throughout the United States, the pool at Fontainbleu Hotel in Miami, the landscaping at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and the Los Angeles Sports Arena. His mark on our built environment is indisputable though largely unrecognized. Fantasy Islands: Landscaping Long Beach's Oil Platforms was organized by Kurt Helfrich, Curator, Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara. The accompanying exhibition brochure was made possible by funding from the Grace Jones Richardson Trust and the Friends of the University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara.

Fantasy Islands Tour
The islands are closed to the public, but on September 16th, the University Art Museum at CSULB will present Fantasy Island Tours – a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour White Island, the T.H.U.M.S. oil-drilling island off Bluff Park in Long Beach. The T.H.U.M.S./Oxy Company of Long Beach, and the City of Long Beach have made this very special event possible. The tour includes free admission to the UAM to view the exhibition Fantasy Islands , free parking on CSULB campus, round-trip bus transportation to the dock, round-trip transportation to White Island via boat, a guided tour of the Island, and refreshments. Tickets are priced at $55.00 per person, and $40.00 per person for UAM members. Tours will depart from the UAM every hour from 9 AM to 4 PM. Reservations are mandatory and may be made by calling (562) 985-4299. For safety concerns, no children under the age of 10 years will be allowed. Footwear is relegated to tennis shoes or closed toed shoes – no heels. Visitors will be required to wear hardhats and safety goggles while on the islands, which will be provided by T.H.U.M.S. at the beginning of the tour.

Special Events:
- Reception, September 7, 6-8 PM
- Gallery Lecture, September 20, 6 PM by guest curator Kurt Helfrich, Curator Architecture and Design Collection, University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara
- Fantasy Islands Tours, Saturday, September 16, 9 to 4 PM, please call 562-985-4299 for reservations

Return to Gallery Pages