Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Hartford, CT USA 1951, lives and works in New York

Sylmar, California
inkjet print
145.4 x 183.5 cm

In 2008 Philip-Lorca diCorcia began the (still unfinished) series East of Eden, of which Sylmar is part. Inspiration for this series comes from the 9/11 attacks as well as from the economic and political climate toward the end of George W. Bush’s presidency. The title of the series refers to Genesis, and even more directly to John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden (1952), which deals with various biblical themes and situates these in early twentieth-century Salinas Valley.

Sylmar, California shows a man on horseback in what initially seems to be an image of the American dream. The photograph was taken, however, in an area of southern California that had been ravaged by forest fires. It has an aura of lost innocence and disillusionment, comparable to the moment after the Fall of man.