Sometimes it takes the perspective of a visitor to see even an iconic city’s sights in a fresh new way. For Swedish photographer Tova Mozard, the dynamic collision between the Hollywood dream factory and the grittier reality of life in the town of Hollywood have yielded a portfolio of emotionally rich, empathetic images of the failures and fringes of the legend. “Psychic storefronts after dark, empty stages, off-duty street performers,” and all manner of faded glamorous animate her vision. Online June 25 through August 15; ladiesroomla.org.
BEHIND THE MASK: Psychics, Cops and Comedians is a conversation between Tova Mozard and Chris Kraus, the full text of which accompanies the online exhibition.
Chris Kraus: The photographs and videos in this exhibition are grouped into three discrete categories: comedians, cops and psychics. Thinking about them, it seems like this work seeks to record a bracket of time in L.A. The city’s so vast one could take almost any approach, but by limiting yourself to these categories you ultimately show a lot more. How did you choose these three categories? Can you describe your first encounters with L.A.?
Tova Mozard: I came to L.A. for the first time in 2002 as a very young student. I remember buying a car, driving around … I was living in Echo Park. And I was struck by the LAPD everywhere … being Swedish, I’ve grown up with all the cop TV shows and movies, but seeing them in real life, how they moved, how they drove, was pretty intriguing…It was a whole film noir clash with reality.