Look up at a billboard as you drive through L.A. this weekend and you may notice something more worthy of your attention than the usual advertising drivel. Two separate projects are helping reclaim the city's public mindscape, by replacing exhortations to consume with art.
Women In The City features art by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman, with new pieces appearing on video and traditional billboards, on lamp posts, construction site hoardings, in the LA Weekly, in cinemas and more. Much of the art will be unveiled tomorrow, Saturday February 9 with the cinema and anti-materialism as key underpinnings for the work. It's already up and running in some spots
and Ad Feminem is headed straight out of the door after this post, for a peek
Just back from a stroll to 6th and Fairfax, the best vantage point for Barbara Kruger's "Plenty", comprising stills, moving images and text that lasts 3:15 and cycles through over and over. As you may have guessed from the banner atop this page, Ad Feminem is a fan of Kruger, a UCLA art professor with a storied history of using advertising design techniques and media to subvert same. Kruger and the Women In The City curatorial team haven't posted the full cycle to the internet for the reason that you really ought to see the work in the context of the street. The following snaps are intended as a teaser to help you get off your ass and head over there. If you really want to be subversive, take the bus or ride your bike.
Eco-Logical Art's ReVisions show has been running since December, meanwhile, and features ten regular billboard emplacements throughout the city where the ads have been temporarily replaced by works painted directly by local artists onto recycled vinyl banners (see below).
Of course, encouraging artists may just be a canny move on the part of the billboard owners, especially if it means Southern Californians start paying more attention to every poster site in the hope of occasionally seeing something of real interest...