Real and false were fused here so perfectly that they became a new substance, just like copper and zinc become brass that looks like gold.
—Erich Maria Remarque, Shadows in Paradise
Seth Lower’s second photobook explores an observation he made about Los Angeles after moving to the city in 2010: “It isn’t always easy to differentiate between what is spontaneous or real, and what’s mediated. Nothing is ever one or the other…” Throughout the book, the comically unresolved drama of our unnamed “hero” emerges from several distinct elements: photographs of generic but oddly familiar movie set locations around the city; portraits of aspiring actors glaring into the sun; awkwardly poetic dialogue and screenplay notations lifted or modified from Hollywood blockbusters; and Lower’s own fabrications and personal anecdotes. Referencing works as diverse as Mulholland Drive and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, The Sun Shone Glaringly evokes all the tropes of the LA myth to address an essential question: how do popular representations of Los Angeles affect the everyday experience of the city, and how do people negotiate the slippage between their real lives and their potential selves?