Cooperative of Photography

Bombay Beach Biennale with Ulrich Grill


Hidden in the sandy plains of California’s Sonoran Desert lies a place like no other. On the north-eastern shore of the Salton Sea is America’s lowest community at 68 meters below sea level. This place is called Bombay Beach - and it’s home to just a few hundred people.       

Once a year however, the small town is transformed by local artists into a vibrant, three-day festival called the Bombay Beach Biennale. This cultural melting pot leaves behind it a lifelong legacy of creativity, even as the manmade lake surrounding it slowly disappears.

On hand to witness the wildness was COOPH’s very own founder Ulrich Grill. Armed with a Leica SL and a 24-90mm lens, Ulrich's documentation of the festivities resulted in a series of surreal and atmospheric photographs that perfectly capture this cultural phenomenon.

Bombay Beach, as Ulrich describes it: “is the coming together of the weird and the wonderful in a very psychedelic way. I met some really nice locals who want to live off the grid where they won't be judged. It’s a place you can express yourself in whatever way you want. My strategy was to shoot in different light conditions; early morning with no people, midday with harsh contrasts and also during the late afternoon light when it was busier.

COOPH Ulrich Girll 01
COOPH Ulrich Girll 02
COOPH Ulrich Girll 03
COOPH Ulrich Girll 04
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COOPH Ulrich Girll 06
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COOPH Ulrich Girll 08
COOPH Ulrich Girll 09
COOPH Ulrich Girll 12
COOPH Ulrich Girll 13
COOPH Ulrich Girll 14

For more information about the Bombay Beach Bienniale, head over here. To see more of Ulrich’s creative endeavours, click here.

Written by Fred Simmons

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