What if walls created spaces?

  • Ruben Ochoa, What if walls created spaces?, 2007, lenticular print mounted on aluminum composite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, 2015.42A-D, © 2007, Ruben Ochoa

Ruben Ochoa deliberately tampers with the appearance of the I‑10, a freeway that runs through East Los Angeles. He created a lenticular print that interlaces two different views of a freeway wall. As viewers walk past his photograph, the wall partially disappears, opening up a portal into an imaginary verdant landscape. Ochoa’s playful gesture alludes to the communities located on the other side of freeways. Starting in the 1950s, freeways like the I‑10 were built through many working class neighborhoods in Los Angeles, despite community protests. These massive roads connected suburbs to major metropolises, yet isolated Chicano and African American neighborhoods from the social and economic fabric of the surrounding region. Ochoa’s title poses a question that invites viewers to ponder the impact of the built environment on inner-city residents.

Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography, 2017
Title
What if walls created spaces?
Artist
Date
2007
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
overall: 48 × 96 in. (121.9 × 243.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center

Mediums Description
lenticular print mounted on aluminum composite
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – detail – wall
Object Number
2015.42A-D
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI