The Salton Sea : My Siren Song

Palm Tree. Salton City, California. 2019.

Since December 2015 I have been pursuing my project Siren Song – a body of work that centres on the desert landscape of California’s Salton Sea. Although I have always known that it is the sparseness, the desert’s horizon, the open terrain, and the distant mountains that draw me in, I did not fully recognize what, specifically, called out to me and made me want to keep taking photographs there. The project continuously evolved and, very slowly, revealed itself – culminating in new and different work during last month’s trip. I have been moving steadily toward this but, to my amazement, it has taken seven visits to the area (a total of about 18 weeks) for me to finally figure out what has pulled me back to this environment, over and over again – what has been haunting me throughout.

For me, the area around the Salton Sea has a ghost-like feeling. It is the silence and emptiness, the realness and rawness of place, that lures me there. The streets give the illusory impression of being un-peopled yet generate a strong sense of a corporeal presence – something invisible there has always stared back at me. Although some of the photographs I made, this past visit, are steeped in the here and now most are not quite in the past, present, or the future. What I was seeing has always been there but, in some odd way, this time, this place has facilitated conjuring my own dreams and encountering my own ghosts.

Tree. Salton Sea Beach, California. 2019.

Rain Over the Desert and the Salton Sea. Salton Sea, California. 2019.

Inside-out. Bombay Beach, California. 2019.

Baughman and Forrester Roads, Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Trees. W. Eddins Road. Calipatria, California. 2019.

Tree and Brush. Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Landscape. Outside Westmoreland, California. 2019.

Don Avenue. Salton Sea Beach, California. 2019.

10 thoughts on “The Salton Sea : My Siren Song

  1. Marla

    Sounds like you had an interesting and revealing visit. Some really beautiful, evocative shots in this group.

  2. susanwoodland

    Tamar, these photos are so full of emotion –
    haunting, quiet, full of some story I hope to see more fully when you decide how exactly to reveal what you have discovered in your work.

    1. Tamar Granovsky Post author

      this is so good to hear, susan. and…. i promise that there shall be more to come. the next while will be spent processing and editing my work to see how it all comes together.

  3. Linda Gold

    Very moody images. Do I remember correctly that you always liked desert-like landscapes? Congratulations to you Tamar!


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