Volume 6, 2016, I-70 Sign Show / by Anne Thompson, Pages 273-279 | Published: 09 Nov 2016
EXCERPT from Curator's Statement:
"Drivers crossing America on Interstate 70 find that the scenery shifts in Missouri. Billboards dominate the landscape. Most signs advertise travel amenities — food, motels and fuel. Many are blank. Others seem to conduct a heated, if inadvertent, culture-war debate: “red” versus “blue,” Christian values versus pleasure and vice. Warnings that hell is real, abortions stop beating hearts, and gambling destroys the family battle ads for porn venues and casinos. My goal in launching the “I-70 Sign Show” was to infiltrate this polarized terrain with artworks that function as playful commentary. I invite artists whose projects engage language, signage or pop culture in ways that could reflect themes prevalent along the 250 miles between St. Louis and Kansas City — religion, sex, gender, guns, labor, athletics, leisure and commerce. The project started in April 2014 with Kay Rosen and continued with Mel Bochner, Mickalene Thomas, Kim Beck, Ken Lum, Karl Haendel, Ryan McGinness, Marilyn Minter, Jeff Gibson, Eric Oglander and Ed Ruscha. The “Sign Show” does not explicitly label its billboards as artworks. By inserting something perplexing into a numbing message barrage, the project invites a vehicle based audience to reconsider a banal scene with curiosity."