|At the end of the 1800’s in America people left their homes, land, families to travel to northwest USA and Canada to search for gold.
Today people leave their homes and families to drive to the shopping mall. The landscape is filled with advertisements for diapers, godaste pannbiff, mm. The work “Gold rush” is a reaction to this situation with
two signs which are visible from E6 heading north between Stenungsund and Ljungskile. The signs are 2 meters by 1 meter and 80 x 50 cm. and are placed side by side. Painted red and covered with gold leaf, they are highly visible. They have no text message and instead the public must reflect on the meaning of two such signs, paintings, without an obvious message placed in the landscape as part of the billboard strip.
Robert Venturi and Denise Brown’s book
“Learning from Las Vegas” published 1972 is a reference for this in terms of considering the location, speed of passersby, sunlight and seeing the paintings in the context of signs which are visible before and afterward as drivers make the E6 trajectory north.
After investigating the regulations with regard to signboards near the highway, the owners of the land were contacted. They agreed to host the project on their land for the coming year. The project was announced via facebook, press release to newspapers and culture public in May 2015. A positive aspect of this was the engagement of the landowner and his neighbours in understanding the project and their willingness to take the opportunity to “do something different”.
This is a self-initiated project in terms of the positioning of the project in the public sphere. Part of the project was to investigate the presence of a work that is not recognized by any consensus as art, and whether it is noticed and experienced. Is it enough that I know of its existence? If the project is not discussed is it a worthwhile work from my perspective? Do I believe that this sign is memorable, a a counter to the experience of the presence of commercial billboards? Is a characteristic of the sign/paintings – the difficulty of it being “consumed” part of the meaning?
This project has lead me to think about how publications then can have an active roll in reframing an art work for a new discourse, in this case for a discussion about consumption and the landscapes of advertisement.