Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway

Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway

Ghosts of the Trucks of The West Side Highway is my latest installation, created for Install:WeHo, a one day pop-up exhibition located in a West Hollywood parking lot. I was thrilled to be invited to do an installation inside of a U-Haul for this event that showcased the talents of emerging LGBT artists in Los Angeles.

For my piece, which incorporates sound and photography, I really wanted take advantage of a truck’s uniquely charged site-specificity while exploring an underrepresented aspect of queer history: specifically, the gay truck-sex culture of 1970’s New York.

Inside Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway

I recorded a group of men having sex inside the exhibition truck prior to INSTALL:WeHo. During the exhibition, this audio was played back on concealed speakers, invoking auditory phantoms of the men who participated in the truck-sex culture that arose at the height of gay liberation. A photograph by Leonard Fink featuring men cruising the trucks along the West Side Highway was blown up, cut apart, and printed on gauzy fabric panels suspended inside the exhibition truck, as if a ghostly after-image of a moment in queer culture lost to AIDS and gentrification.

Listen to the audio here:

And to lean more about the piece and Install:Weho check out this interview I did for Frontiers, this write-up on the Out in the 562 blog, as well as LA-Weekly’s coverage of the event.

Detail from Ghosts of the Trucks of the West Side Highway

About Ben Cuevas

Ben Cuevas is a Los Angeles based interdisciplinary artist whose work spans a wide range of mediums including installation, sculpture, fiber, photography, video, performance, and sound. Often incorporating several of these elements into any given piece, he makes use of digital media as a means of documentation. In light of its pluralistic qualities, he sees his work as a reflection on the condition of embodiment, exploring what it means to have a body, to inhabit a body, to be a body incarnated in, and interacting with this world.

3 comments

  1. Rozanne Moran

    Hello Ben,
    You may or may not remember me. I saw your show in Amenia awhile ago (?). I am the woman who sent you some wool for your anatomy work. I hadn’t heard from you and I was wondering? I was so hoping that my wool would somehow enhance your work…on some level…..I hope your experience was a good one.

    I am thinking you are doing well….that is a good thing….I like your Ghost work….
    Nice,
    Rozanne Moran
    Tower Ridge Farm

  2. Pingback: Queer Art: Ben Cuevas and Heath Daniels on What's Next | WEHOville

  3. Pingback: Queer Art: Ben Cuevas and Heath Daniels on What’s Next | Why Leave WeHo?! | Do. Everything. Local.

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