‘While working in Los Angeles, Gaillard identified further evidence of colliding times and cultures on the city’s streets: the manhole covers. He noticed that these industrial lids not only share motifs and patterns with pre-Columbian art but also bear texts that give them another layer of disorientation. The legend “City of Los Angeles” is often followed by “Made in India” in equally prominent type. Gaillard took it upon himself to record these undercover monuments, employing an ancient mode of recording — frottage. The intrepid artist ran into the streets to obtain rubbings of the manhole covers, creating his own indexes of a specific time and place. The rubbings recall Olmec images of heads and mythical creatures. Gaillard calls the series Gates, which emphasizes the manhole covers’ function as barriers or gateways: in real life, they may lead only to the city’s sewer system, but in movies and fiction they often serve as portals to an underworld or as secret passages to the other side of the world’
(A. Subotnick, Hammer Projects, http://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2013/hammer-projects-cyprien-gaillard/ [accessed 10 September 2015]).