Désirée van Hoek is a Dutch photographer
Episode 318: Désirée van Hoek is a Dutch photographer whose new book Notes on Downtown continues her fascinating eye on the city of Los Angeles over the past few decades. The book is self-published.
It was great to speak with von Hoek about her work. I had been sent a copy of her previous book, Skid Row, in the post some time back. Sadly it had not been put up for review for American Suburb x. Still, in some ways, I hope to get both books up on the site over the following months as they are fantastic looks at Los Angeles and the complications that have arisen from its process of gentrification and corporate buyouts of the city’s architectural heritage.
Los Angeles is a city in transition. In some ways, it is more down and out than ever, with its downtown seeing a significant uptake in crime, drug use, and homelessness at the same time, the city is pivoting for an unprecedented rise in property value with the oncoming of the 2028 Olympics. It is not conspiratorial to see how the links between the uptake in undesirable social placement, property value, and its inevitable clean-up benefit property barons and municipal stewardship in the long term. I’ll leave that bit of conjecture there as I do not believe I am wrong. Désirée and I spoke about this and how she got interested in Los Angeles in the first place. Please Tune In.