"It's a dip or rather a scrape… a dip your right tire will hit if you're traveling correctly in the middle of the lane. It's not just another dip in the road. Look at it and it begins to have it's own integrity; it's a flame shape like a fireball or a meteorite crashing towards the very place on the Sepulveda Boulevard. If you think these paintings are about meaninglessness, you have not looked long enough at the dip in the road." - Joan Didion on Ed Ruscha's real life obsession with a hole in a road.
This was one of many great quotes mentioned during Ed Ruscha's brilliant (and very funny) talk last night with Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library. As a photo of the dip was shown on a projector, Ruscha called it his "Marilyn Monroe.” It was a pothole in the road that he would look forward to driving over everyday. He planned on having the dip replicated until the city unexpectedly filled it in a few days before the casting. The conversation, which suitably ended with Ruscha reading a short passage he wrote (“Information Man”) about a daydream wondering what happens to his books after they leave him, coincides with the Gagosian's Books & Co.
1. Ed Ruscha photographed by Dennis Hopper, 1964.