One Story, Two Narratives, No Center
The artist hikes into the wilderness, becomes disoriented, then terribly lost. Days later, she finds her way out. She recalls a moment looking through tangled branches at fragments of blue sky. She can't help thinking about thin skins of ice breaking under her feet and refreezing. She has gained a new sense that reveals and obscures the natural world in different, if unsettling terms: a visionary experience in which both sight and perception have been permanently altered.
Westlake Park was designed in the late 19th Century as an urban Pleasure Ground. Originally a swamp and reservoir, park designers intended to create an environment in which all city dwellers could walk out of their homes and experience the rustic beauty of nature firsthand. Water features and naturalistic, unstructured plantings simulated nature's most ordinary and sublime moments. As part of a WPA project, Wilshire Boulevard was extended through the center of Westlake Park in 1935. The lake in the northern half of the park was then drained. In 1942, the park was renamed General Douglas MacArthur Park. A memorial sculpture was added in his honor. In 1968 Richard Harris recorded the love song "MacArthur Park," written by Jimmy Webb. The song was rerecorded by Donna Summer in 1978 and became a disco anthem. In 1972, the park became a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. The park was the site of unrest in 2007 when May Day demonstrators clashed with Los Angeles Police.