On December 22, 2013, the world-famous Hollywood Park Race Track closed its doors forever. In 2014, demolition began on the landmark race track, effectively erasing seventy-five years of history, while at the same time making space for an entire new neighborhood to suddenly arise in the middle of the metropolis. Photographer Michele Asselin spent every day at Hollywood Park in the last two weeks before it closed, photographing the buildings, the employees, and the patrons of the track. Clubhouse Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track is the product of her efforts, and the story of two cultures colliding in the middle of a rapidly evolving city.
Asselin's celebrated photographs depict a world that has been completely erased but not forgotten. Each intimate portrait shows a unique and personal side of the track, from the jockeys to the gamblers to the security guards at the gate. Her landscape photography feels no less human; a discarded receipt or a string of Christmas lights conjures the ghosts of Hollywood Park, absorbing the reader in the dual pulls of presence and absence, loss and gain, nostalgia for what's gone and the thrill of what's to come.
In addition to Asselin's lush photographs, Clubhouse Turn features essays by MacArthur fellow John Kun and Grammy-winning writer Lynell George exploring what it means to love a city that's always in motion. A building can have a historic landmark, but what about a culture, a community--a way of life? Clubhouse Turn is more than a book of photography and more than a book about a race track: it's a book about who we are when we live in a city--the faces that we never see until we look, the places we forget until they're gone. (Angel City Press)
Michele Asselin lives and works in Los Angeles. Her photographs explore the impact of social constructs on human experience. She draws on editorial techniques to examine how people and places come to reflect the systems of which they are a part. Early in her career, she worked for the Associated Press in the Middle East while living in Jerusalem. Back in the US, she worked as an editorial photographer, creating memorable portraits of the people of our time. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Esquire, Fortune and New York Magazine.
Lynell George is an L.A. based journalist and essayist. She has had a long career in L.A. journalism as staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly -- focusing on social issues, human behavior and identity politics as well as visual arts, music and literature. She's an arts and culture columnist for KCET| Artbound and has taught journalism at Loyola Marymount University and is also a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow and a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow (2013). She is also the author of No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels (Verso/Doubleday), a collection of features and essays drawn from her reporting. She won a 2017 GRAMMY for her liner notes "Otis Redding Live at the Whisky A Go Go." Her new book After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, is now available, published by Angel City Press.
Josh Kun is a cultural historian and curator, and an author and editor of several books, most recently The Autograph Book of Los Angeles: Improvements on the Page of the City (2019), Double Vision: The Photography of George Rodriguez (2018), and The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles (2017). As a curator he has worked with SFMOMA, the California African American Museum, The Grammy Museum, and others. He is Director of the USC Annenberg School of Communication, where is a Professor and holds the Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication. He is currently writing a book on music and migration for MCD/FSG.
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