Frontier Psychiatrist

Frontier Photography – Bernard Yenelouis

Posted on: June 3, 2011

Polaroid #1

This photo series combines two portfolios: Images from Pershing Square
in downtown Los Angeles,  done in the deliberately subjective, ersatz
Pictorialist mode of the park’s most recent design, which dates from
the mid 1990s, and an archive of private queer snapshots, many of
which came from a shop in Manhattan’s West Village, Gay Treasures.

Pershing Square #5

Pershing Square itself has an official history, as a former “center” of downtown Los Angeles, which has gone through various iterations of redevelopment, in the accelerated suburban sprawl of LA following World War II. Outside of the square’s official timeline is its unacknowledged attraction to generations of homeless people and its notoriety as a one-time cruising spot for men. I know of the cruising from the writings of John Rechy, Christopher Isherwood & David Hockney, and as such it has a kind of imaginary aspect, which seems quite distant from the current design of the park, which is a playground-bunker architecture – massive proportions, inhospitable, of easy surveillance, and brightly colored.

Polaroid #2

The photos from Gay Treasures were chosen as forms of possible “becoming” – as a sexualized subject, as images of desire & lust. It is with a spirit of experimentation to place two distinctly different archives together to elicit some sort of resonance between them, of queering postmodern park design, and also a public place for private self-images.

Pershing Square #4


Bernard Yenelouis is an artist and writer. He has shown his work in New York City, Los Angeles and Detroit. He is currently based in Ithaca, NY, where he is in graduate school at Cornell University.

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