Thoughts on Romance from the Road uses photography to document my text interventions on roadside marquee signs. By placing intimate, diaristic language in public view, this work explores the contemporary impulse to create a public version of ourselves. I wish to draw attention to the evolving way we experience desire, and how that desire is implanted and delivered within our collective minds with the use of our expanding repertoire of technology and entertainment, both of which we desire in and of themselves.
I place phrases on theater marquee signs, using my own letters and leaving the scene with the words left intact. Before I depart, I make a photograph from the sidewalk or roadside. The photograph becomes the sole remnant of the project as the letters inevitably disappear or are taken down. In its brief existence, each sign installation is read by an audience encountering the work in spaces where they expect to see movie titles or public announcements. The text phrases are the voice of an individual and are deliberately personal and vaguely melancholy, sharply contrasting with upbeat advertisements or movie titles. My texts are formulated to read as though they are public diary entries referencing banal realities of self-absorption based on comparison with some notion of an ideal.
In a gallery space the work is presented as large color prints and looped video documentation of the installations of the signs that exist in public for a limited period. Whether or not an altered sign lasts out in the world for a few hours or a few days depends upon various factors. Whenever possible I obtain permission if I can locate a property owner. If I cannot do so I will most likely use the sign anyway, knowing that the installation could be more short-lived than in the opposite case. But I never know precisely what will happen or how long the installations will remain intact.