Bethlehem No More a talk by David Weldzius
Two days before the November 2016 election, David Weldzius drove to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to restage Walker Evans’s photographs taken there in November 1935. From Evans’ perspective of the giant blast furnaces from atop St. Michael’s Cemetery, Weldzius could not locate the Sands Casino Resort, an $800 million project built on Bethlehem Steel’s former oar yard in 2007. Over the course of the next several months, Weldzius would return to Bethlehem regularly. His research and photography were soon published into an essay, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Four Meditations on the Old and New Spirits of Capitalism” by XTRA in 2018. Borrowing his lecture title from a Luis Rodriguez poem which underscores the consequences of Bethlehem Steel’s closure in South Los Angeles, Weldzius intends to synthesize the narratives of steel production in the Rust Belt and the American Southwest.
Friday, April 5: Southland Institute at LACA
Event will be held on the ground floor in the courtyard space and is wheelchair accessible.
The event is free and open to all ages.
Untitled (Parking lot and ironworks, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), June 2017. Digital scan from 4 × 5 in. negative. Courtesy of the artist.
Details from: A Graveyard and Steel Mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, November 1935. Walker Evans (left image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, right image courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).