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Posted Mar 10, 2010 in Arts | 0 Comments

So-Cal Gets So-Cool

Billboard defacement sometimes requires a can of spray paint and a ladder to get off the ground. Other times, it demands designers, construction workers, city council affirmatives, and an expense report. This would be one of those times.

The MAK Center for Art and Architecture has plastered over Californian billboards to develop a series of wide-scale public artworks, titled “How Many Billboards.” The exhibitions have been curated by MAK, which has commissioned a number of established artists to cover a rolling expanse from Beverly Hills to MacArthur Park and Sunset Boulevard to the 10. Some of the artists participating include Kori Newkirk, Yvonne Rainer, Pulitzer Prize nominee Ken Gonzalez-Day, and West Coast avant-garde trailblazer, Kenneth Anger.

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According to MAK, billboards provide the best platform from which to transform our day-to-day mediated experiences into vehicles for innovation, experimentation, and cultural exchange. By remodeling these sites, MAK has channeled our urge-to-buy into something a little less counterproductive, monotonous, or uninteresting. For contemplative Californians, directions to each of the pieces can be found on the MAK Center’s website. For out-of-towners, though, the site also features pictures of each artwork.

Unlike the usual public space rigmarole, which typically involves dreadlocks, muesli-based textiles, some kind of a bike ride, and the pretense that The Whole World Is Watching, MAK’s is a simple revolt: “Art should occupy a visible position in the cacophony of mediated images in the city, and it should do so without merely adding to the visual noise.” This, in layman’s terms, means turning mind-numbing bullshit into pop art. Not exactly a bad trade.

In summation: please follow So-Cal’s lead.

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