The Legacy of the Dead
A Street Story
Where the streets have no name
Ocean Front Walk
The Legend of Zorro
The Legend of Zorro
The two channels of the looped double projection are of the same duration and remain in synch. The projected images measure up to 2.25 m x 3 m each. The text below, printed in German, English and Spanish, is installed in the exhibition space in addition to the projections.
The footage for this work was filmed at the world premiere of The Legend of Zorro at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles on October 16, 2005. The film was directed by Martin Campbell and stars Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Zorro and his wife Elena.
The Zorro character first made his appearance in The Curse of Capistrano, a novel by pulp writer Johnston McCulley that was serialized in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly in 1919. Zorro, Spanish for fox, is only loosely based on a historical figure. He is most often associated with Joaquin Murietta, whose life was fictionalized in John Rollin Ridge’s book The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murietta, the Celebrated California Bandit (1854). The book is considered the first Native American novel; it was also the first novel written in California and helped turn Murietta’s life into an object of legend.
It is said that Joaquin Murietta first went to California in 1850 to seek his fortune in the Gold Rush. But instead of opportunity, he encountered racism and discrimination. As a result of the Gold Rush, plenty of American settlers were heading for California during those days. Between 1848 and 1852, the population grew from 14,000 (including about 4,000 Spanish-speaking inhabitants) to 230,000, causing a drastic shift in the proportions of the population. Some say that as a consequence of his frustration, Murietta founded a band that did most of the cattle rustling and committed most of the robberies and murders in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevadas between 1850 and 1853. They are credited with stealing more than $100,000 in gold and over 100 horses, as well as with killing 19 people, mostly Chinese mine workers. Murietta was considered either an infamous bandit or a Mexican Robin Hood, depending on one's point of view. Whatever the truth of the matter, his name has, for some political activists at least, symbolized resistance against Anglo-American economic and cultural domination in California.
Johnston McCulley published over sixty more Zorro stories altogether. The character became internationally known after the success of the silent film The Mark of Zorro (1920), directed by Fred Niblo and starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
Zorro’s adventures take place either during the time of the Gold Rush or several decades earlier, when the state (then named Alta California) and the city of Los Angeles still belonged to Spain and later, after 1821, to Mexico. He fights for the Spanish-speaking inhabitants of California (Californios) against people laying claims to the land, particularly against the corrupt Spanish governor. In Campbell’s recent movie The Legend of Zorro, Zorro helps California become the 31st state of the United States so that the Californios become US citizens. The story takes place during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), after which Alta California (consisting of the present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona and Wyoming) was ceded to the US by Mexico.
Source: Wikipedia 2006