Inlandia Institute publishes "In the Sunshine of Neglect: Defining Photographs & Radical Experiments.... 1950 - Present"


194 photographs, 54 artists, 2 museums, 1 region. The simultaneous two-part exhibition at The California Museum of Photography and the Riverside Art Museum explores the idea that freedom can be found at the margins. It presents the work of groundbreaking photographers who for decades have used Inland Southern California as an tabula rasa laboratory for artistic experiment.

The visions of these artists—experimental, hard-eyed, and imaginative—influenced the course of contemporary art and photography. In the Sunshine of Neglect is the first exhibition to survey this remarkable history. The Inlandia Institute, the region’s premier literary organization, publishes the full 274-page exhibition catalogue.


“Mark McKnight produces what might be termed urban abstractions. ‘Window works’ is his description for one set. These photographs are artifacts of a search for hidden windows, and McKnight’s search for the search. Workers primitively sawcut the scarred stucco of old buildings in an attempt to locate bricked-in original windows. McKnight says the ‘latent’ windows represent ‘truth, transparency, a desire to see beyond the skin of things, an attempt to apprehend meaning.’ The window, of course, is a key metaphor for observation, self expression, and the photographic frame. ‘The notion that one would bury a window is, of course, distressing to a photographer - I’ve committed my life to seeing through them.’

A second body of work is based on the proposition that insignificant things are meaningful parts of a richer, larger picture. A dilute pool of spilled paint transforms a gouged, cigarette butt-strewn gutter into a turqoise window opening on an infinite sky. Leaning palm trunks hazy with overspray extend the brown earth skyward past a masked window. McKnight ‘pictures the accumulating scars of an aging American urbanism, in which contemporary economic austerity has resulted in a surreal piling-up of provisional fixes and removals,’ summarize intertwined writers Julian Myers-Szupinska and Joanna Szupinska-Myers.”

Mark McKnight