ArtScene lists John Divola exhibition in Continuing and Recommended section by Stacy Davies, October 2013
Images of the crumbling shell of a Malibu home from the 1970s might seem just as relevant to the universal human record as Pompeii, AD 79 if we admit that, empirically at least, all human purpose and values are equal. John Divola must have felt some of this when he photographed an abandoned house in Zuma Beach during the early mornings and late evenings back in 1977-1978, for there’s something especially existential about not only witnessing the decay of a human artifact, but contributing to it. For those two years, Divola photographed this shanty-in-progress and lent to it his own devised destruction in the form of graffiti and debris, often tossing and capturing pieces mid-flight within his lens. Other visitors also added design elements, including firefighters who practiced dousing interior blazes and random beachcombers with penchants for shattering windows and beer bottles. Participating in the demise of a dwelling that had a zero prognosis of survival was key to Divola, and he viewed himself as a component of that disintegration process as opposed to remaining an impartial, photographic observer.