John Divola

Zuma Beach Series, 1974-77
Dye Transfer Print
Courtesy of Jan Kesner Gallery
Los Angeles, California

The Zuma Series is a landmark body of work completed between 1974 and 1977. The works' association with process is centered in the fact that the artist not only recorded the decomposition and dilapidation of this structure, but that he began to participate, like an natural elemental force of nature, with the transformation of the structure. The work forever emphasized the bond between man and

nature, which until that time had been traditionally depicted as separate from man. The reference to the sublime was something you could no longer put on a piece of photographic paper with out the justifiable reference to the control of humankind. The viewpoint to nature was indeed through the window of a human construct.


Over the four year period, Divola would return to the structure to find it in another evolutionary stage of decomposition which he would sometimes further alter, then photograph. The structure was a former residence and served as a lifeguard headquarters. Abandoned, it fell to the forces of nature, man and bureaucracy. It was finally demolished and removed from Zuma Beach in an attempt by the government to return the beach to a "natural state".


UCR/California Museum of Photography | Ocean View