Leonardo Magrelli, West of Here, 2021
West of Here by Leonardo Magrelli
Essays by Brit Salvesen and Mirjam Kooiman
All the images in this work are taken in Grand Theft Auto V —a video game set in Los Santos, an “open world” scenario that closely resembles Los Angeles and its surroundings. Turned into a virtual replica, the city looks familiar and recognizable, but at the same time, pieces are missing, distances are altered, dimensions changed.
While exploring the possibilities and the meanings of photographing a virtual place, the work addresses further issues, such as the truthfulness of photography and our belief in this medium as a trace of reality. Cropped and turned to black and white by the author, all the images are originally taken by different players around the world. When it comes to showing how realistic this video game is, how much it “seems real”, it’s striking how all these users unknowingly adopt a visual language as descriptive and objective as possible, somehow close to the documentary style.
Thus, their pictures end up resembling those of many great photographers who worked in L.A. widely throughout the second half of the past century. With their own perspective, these artists all contributed to the creation of an image of the city that is still vivid and lasting.
more about Leonardo Magrelli: http://www.leonardomagrelli.com/