The Deaths of Newport Beach

The Deaths in Newport resulted in the unexpected emergence of Lewis Baltz as a narrator. Before this project took shape as an exhibition, a book, and soon afterwards a CD-ROM (in different and changing formats), Baltz narrated the shocking story of a double murder that took place in southern California in the 1950s. A yacht blew up, a couple were killed and their daughter and son-in-law accused of the crime. The case attracted enormous media attention at the time. Baltz tells the story, illustrated with numerous archive photographs, in a direct, laconic manner as if he were the son of the original narrator. A visual artist narrating a story from his childhood, with his father (one of the principal witnesses) as a personal reference, guiding us through the social drama of post-war America on the Californian coast. (Urs Staehl)