Thousands of kilometers by car and camera through Los Angeles – dream or nightmare? In his long-term project L.A. Crossing, which has been in the making since 2010, Jens Liebchen shows us the capital of unconditional automotive mobility like most of its inhabitants prefer to look at it: through the windows of their cars. Out of the moving car, Liebchen looks at a city that embodies the opposites of utopia and dystopia. L.A. Crossing itself sounds like the title of a movie, accordingly the street becomes a stage and the photography becomes a kind of still image. Bathed in the beguiling Californian light, the city appears fictitious and real at the same time. An icon of photographic art, Stephen Shore’s image »La Brea/Beverly« serves as a theoretical starting point for Liebchen’s work. Beginning with the »La Brea Matrix Project«, which was centered around said photo, Liebchen has reversed the common view and now looks back from the street to the city. Neither does he stop, like Lee Friedlander (in “America by Car”), nor does follow a strict gird like Ed Ruscha (in “Every Building on the Sunset Strip”). Liebchen drives and drives and drives. From the privileged and air-conditioned perspective of the driver’s seat, the City of Angels lights and shadows are revealed.
Jens Liebchen (*1970) has been working as a freelance photographer since his studies of ethnology. His works and have been exhibited worldwide and can be found, among others, in the collection of the DZ BANK Kunstsammlung in Frankfurt a.M. and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Liebchen lives and works in Berlin. He is represented by Springer Gallery.
Bildband Berlin, 27.10.2022
Jens Liebchen Jens Liebchen in conversation with Wiebke Loeper and Markus Hartmann
HOLLYWOOD (group exhibition) Helmut Newton Foundation / Museum für Fotografie, Berlin, 3.6.–20.11.2022