The Brandon presents
The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project
Chapter #4: Eve Fowler
Saturday, June 21, 2014 beginning at 6pm
(Los Angeles Nomadic Division) is proud to present the fourth chapter of billboards as
part of The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project featuring the work of Eve Fowler in Houston, TX from June 21st to July 2014. A reading and opening reception will be held at The Brandon (1709 Westheimer Road Houston, Texas 77098) from 6-8pm on Saturday, June 21, 2014.
The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project is a series of artist-produced billboards and activations that will unfold along Interstate 10 Freeway from Florida to California through spring 2015. The project was conceived by artist Zoe Crosher and is co-curated by the artist and LAND's Director and Curator, Shamim M. Momin. Using the concept of Manifest Destiny - America's territorial expansion across North America - the artists will explore this problematic and layered history.
Using approximately 100 billboards total, 10 artists will create "chapter" groupings along I-10, each a unique interpretive link to the exhibition’s thematic. The billboards will move through and punctuate the landscape by tracing territorial expansion from east to west, along one of the country's busiest freeways, concluding in Los Angeles. The billboards will be activated through various events, programs, and social media outlets for dialogue and interaction with local communities.
Crosher writes, "The intention is to give a physicalized reminder of this extraordinarily influential (and often times destructive) 19th century belief which unabashedly dictated the expansion west, that still dictates our movement west, and to gently place/implicate/remind the people
unknowingly participating in that landscape along the way.” Momin adds, "By physically moving through and mapping the very landscape that has been so fantasized, dreamed about, and capitalized upon in a breadth of positive and negative ways, the artists have the opportunity to
address their work to the idea in a variety of ways – opaque or direct, tangential or political, macro and micro."
The project launched on October 20, 2013 in Jacksonville, FL with billboards by Los Angeles-based artist Shana Lutker entitled Onward and Upward. Participating artists include John Baldessari, Sanford Biggers, Matthew Brannon, Zoe Crosher, Eve Fowler, Shana Lutker, Jeremy Shaw, Daniel R. Small, Bobbi Woods, and Mario Ybarra Jr.
Eve Fowler’s chapter of The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, entitled it is so, is it so, depicts excerpts of text from Bee Time Vine and Tender Buttons by seminal 20th century author Gertrude Stein. Fowler began sourcing Stein’s texts in her work in 2010 and has evolved
this body of work in various iterations, one of which being a series of posters with Stein quotes placed along public streets in Los Angeles. Fowler states, “I’m interested in the multiple reads a viewer could have seeing this text in public. I’m also interested in making something that is
accessible to everyone, or at least a very broad audience. I see this language as queer, in both senses of the word, but I think it is open-ended and could be interpreted in various ways.” Through isolating these quotes from their original context and reproducing them on a large scale, Fowler poetically introduces them into a dialogue with the Texas landscape as residents and travelers move throughout their day with quotes such as, ”in the morning there is meaning”, “In the evening there is feeling.” and “How sweet are suns and suns. And the season. The sea or the
season, and the roads.” The open-ended gestures lure travelers westward and encourage them to pause and contemplate their space, existence, and destiny. For more information and a downloadable map of the billboards, please visit nomadicdivision.org.
In addition to the billboards, free lending libraries in truck stops, hardware stores, and coffee shops will feature books to borrow or take that relate to the quotations on the billboards and Stein’s life, the majority being Modernist literature by contemporaries of Stein, such as
Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Mann, Marcel Proust, Henry James, Truman Capote, and Anne Carson. Each of these texts subtly explores gender identity, a crux of Fowler’s practice as an artist.
Eve Fowler (b. 1964, Philadelphia, PA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) is an artist and photographer whose practice involves documenting and reproducing examinations of ambiguity and meaning, in gender, medium, or interpretation of text. Her work has been exhibited nationally
and internationally, at institutions such as MoMA, New York, NY; The New Museum, New York, NY; and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, among many others.
LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) is a non-profit public art organization committed to curating site- and situation-specific contemporary art projects in Los Angeles and beyond. LAND believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience innovative contemporary art in their day-to-day lives. In turn, artists deserve the opportunity to realize projects, otherwise unsupported, at unique sites in the public realm.
1709 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77098