Hot enough for you? If Death Valley has come up in your conversation anytime in the last few days, you should check out the real deal – you don’t have to drive there, just get to Arcana Books this Friday Sept. 19 from 7 to 9 pm. The photographs in Pamela Littky‘s new book, Vacancy, chronicle life in two desert towns that both claim the mantle of “Gateway to Death Valley”: Baker, California, and Beatty, Nevada.
“‘Gateway to Death Valley’ sounded so macabre and ominous to me,” Littky told Gillian Orr of the UK Independent. “The title alone piqued my interest, but when I dug deeper, I found tight-knit communities of people who were independent, hardy and idiosyncratic. And the unrelenting landscape and domestic scenes looked nothing like what I see in my own day-to-day life.”
The book provides a snapshot of both the towns and their people. From 2009 to 2012 Littky slowly built up the trust of her subjects. “I was drawn to the fact that they chose to make their homes in not only a very remote area, but in one with such extreme conditions,” she says. “It’s not easy to endure and this comes across on their weathered faces.”
“While my experience in meeting and working with so many of these people was really quite wonderful, overall the photos themselves definitely have a sense of sadness and loneliness to them.”
‘Vacancy‘ by Pamela Littky is published by Kehrer. For more: pamelalittky.com
Arcana Gallery – 8675 Washington Boulevard, Culver City (310) 458-1499