Map-á-porter: Echo Park
Echo Park, the home of Claret-Cup, is a neighborhood in Los Angeles whose turns and burns we watched for the past 15 years. Although once on the bucolic fringes of the Pueblo de Los Ángeles, possibly with sheep roaming its hills, the residential neighborhood of Echo Park grew up around the commercially failed Reservoir No. 4 (now Echo Park Lake), the exhausted Los Angeles Oil Field, a row of businesses along Sunset Boulevard and the early silent movie industry. As one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods, Echo Park’s landmarks, topography, architecture, place names, infrastructure, past and current demographic encapsulate the diversity and vibrancy characteristic of a Southern California metropolis. Claret Cup’s latest edition of silkscreened folios/wraps continues our investigation into the idea of the graphic map that folds into a variety of utilitarian, wearable objects, but can always be unfolded into a complete map of the neighborhood. Highlighted natural features, streets, staircases, buildings or ephemeral locations on the map are not meant as an exhaustive list of important places in Echo Park, rather are part of a mental snapshot of the place by us as Echo Park locals. The intentionally anachronistic map elements overlay the past, present and possible future of the neighborhood at a specific point in time.