The December 2012 Mayan apocalypse drastically changed the world, leaving behind a cult of shame-burdened innocents trying to make sense of it all. Such is the premise for musician/photographer Moby’s latest body of work, “Innocents.” On display at Project Gallery, the series of eerie images shot in Los Angeles coincide with Moby’s latest album of the same name.
“In a very strong way, both the album and the art show are really influenced by life in this strange and dysfunctional city,” Moby says of the first creative projects he’s worked on since his big move from New York to Los Angeles in 2011. “And I don’t mean strange and dysfunctional in a bad way. Part of what makes LA so remarkable to me is that it is so strange and so dysfunctional.”
In particular, it was LA’s distinct relationship with nature that struck a chord. “One of the things that I find fascinating about Los Angeles is that the nature here is sort of omnipresent and grand and also kind of intimidating,” he says. What was most intriguing was the city’s proximity to desert, ocean, and mountains—all habitats that don’t support human life. “It sort of represents a really interesting relationship between urban humans and the natural environment, and that also sort of informed the ethos of the show.”
Inspired by all of LA’s unusualness, Moby set out to shoot a collection of images that capture his vision of a post-apocalyptic world. One half of the images document the evidence of its happening—think ominous clouds lurking above the city and other catastrophic scenes taken at the Angeles National Forest and from the gardens and deck of Moby’s castle-like Hollywood Hills abode. The other photographs focus on Moby’s imagined “cult of innocents,” which he calls the “world’s first post-apocalyptic cult.”
These innocents wander through the city disturbingly disguised in white robes and masks. “The reason they are concealed is because they are so ashamed of all of the stupid things humans have done for the last few thousand years. [They cover themselves to] represent an expression of shame,” he says. The hauntingly beautiful exhibition will be on display through March 30. 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323-462-1100