Essay by Andre Corboz
Photographs by Dennis Keeley
Preface by Kurt W. Forster
From Alex de Tocqueville to Jean Baudrillard Europeans have been fascinated with the idea and the reality of the United States. They have seen in America a difference that, whether provoking or complimentary, has furthered American self-understanding. Looking for a City in America is another chapter in this tradition. The eminent European historian Andre Corboz takes to task previous European analyses of the American city, suggesting they are often little more than reflections of an Old World bad faith. Centering his critical eye on the terrain of postmodern Los Angeles, Corboz makes the case for a new city, one without a center but united by what he sees as a typically American gregarious individualism.
Corboz's essay is accompanied by eighty-three photographs of Los Angeles by photographer Dennis Keeley, whose arresting work discovers moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. The city Keeley presents comprises a visually impressive Los Angeles, the L.A. of contemporary cultural theorists Fredric Jameson and Mike Davis whose absent center validates its postmodern vision.
Andre Corboz is chair of the department of urban history at the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich.
Dennis Keeley teaches graphic design at the California Institute of the Arts and is an independent photographer in Los Angeles.
6 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches
83 b/w illustrations
Imprint: Getty Research Institute