Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dave Dyment | Every Building In The Sunset Strip

Dave Dyment
Every Building In The Sunset Strip
Toronto, Canada: MKG127, 2015
54 pp., 14 x 18 cm., accordion fold
Edition of 95

One of two remakes of Ed Ruscha's classic book Every Building On The Sunset Strip, in the exhibition of the same name at MKG127 for the remainder of this month. The other version is visual, with images sourced from cinema and television.

The book recounts stories about every property included in the original book (which was titled The Sunset Strip on both the cover and spine), from Schwab's Pharmacy at 8024 Sunset Blvd (the site of many Hollywood legends, a few of them true) to the Jaguar Dealership that remains fifty years later, at 9176 Sunset.

The entries range from the banal (once a beauty salon, now a vacant lot) to the sensational (racketeering, murder, celebrity scandal, etc). Taken together, they form a portrait of the 2.4 km stretch of the famous boulevard, and how it has changed over the past half century.

The above image is an installation shot, pictures of the regular and special edition to follow.

Indulge me a few thank-yous: Karen Azoulay, Jonah Corne, Johnny Dimsdale, Nick Faitos, William F. Kazupski, Michael Klein, Jeremy Martin, Lyle Palaski, Roula Partheniou, Peter Symons and Matthew Varey. For a variety of tasks, which either sped up or improved the work considerably, or (in some cases) made it possible at all.

Sample entries:

8923 - Duke York was a New York-born film actor who appeared in over 150 films between 1932 and 1952. He was often cast as the rival in Three Stooges films: he played the spear-throwing Sultan of Abadaba in Three Little Twerps; the Wolfman in Idle Roomers; Angel the hatchet man in Shivering Sherlocks; and the goon in Who Done It?. He also appeared in the serial Flash Gordon. 

York lived at this address after his failed marriage to Hollywood stunt woman Frances Miles in 1941. Several years later he was engaged to a woman named Catherine Moench. Finding him overly-jealous, she cancelled the wedding.  On January 24th,1952, during a lengthy phone call to Moench, he shot himself in the head. His body was discovered by friend and fellow actor George Cleveland.

8969 - Built in 1951, this is 5,414 square foot, single family home sold in 2004 for $1,350,010.00.

8301 - Jim Baker, a decorated WWII marine who once trained soldiers in jujitsu, moved to southern California in 1951 to audition for Tarzan films. Finding only work as a stuntman, he joined the Nature Boys, a group of vegetarian body-building health devotees. He later opened some of the country’s first health food restaurants: The Aware Inn and Old World, both on the Strip.

In 1969, Father Yod, as he became known, opened one of the country's first vegetarian health food restaurants, The Source. The restaurant served organic vegetarian food and natural juices, and included a small book and record store, where Yod’s nine albums of experimental psychedelic rock could be purchased. Celebrity clientele included Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Julie Christie and John Lennon. 

Father Yod (also known as YaHoWha) also founded a spiritual commune in the Hollywood Hills known as the Source Family, who were supported by the earnings of the restaurant. In late 1974, under investigation for child endangerment when a newborn took ill, the Source Family sold the restaurant and moved to Hawaii. Less than a year later Yod died while attempting to fly a hang glider, with no previous experience, off of a 400 metre cliff.

The Source Family is the subject of a recent documentary, and the restaurant was famously featured in Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977). Allen meets Diane Keaton for lunch and orders "alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast”, and when trying to leave the parking lot crashes his car while backing out. 

The current occupant is a Mexican restaurant and bar called Cabo Cantina.


  1. Congratulations again on your exhibition !

  2. Congratulations again on your exhibition !