This large-scale urban exhibition debuts 23 new works by leading contemporary artists, presented simultaneously on billboards throughout Los Angeles for seven weeks from February 5 through March 26, 2010. How Many Billboards? Art In Stead is organized by MAK Center Director Kimberli Meyer with co-curators Lisa Henry, Dr. Nizan Shaked, and Dr. Gloria Sutton, and public art consultant Sara Daleiden. The exhibition will be accompanied by an overview exhibition and orientation station at the Schindler House, which opens on February 23, as well as a series of public programs and bus tours. A dedicated website, howmanybillboards.org has been launched to provide up-to-date exhibition information as the project unfolds. The MAK Center is also designing interactive media to help viewers navigate the show.
Twenty-three artists working in the vein of California’s conceptual art movement have each been commissioned to create a new work that critically responds to the medium of the billboard and interprets its role in the urban landscape. Investigating art as an idea as well as art as a media for critical intervention, the exhibition highlights the interaction of Pop, conceptualism and architecture in Los Angeles since the late 1960s.
“In How Many Billboards?, the streets of Los Angeles become the walls of the exhibition, and the city itself becomes a large museum,” said Kimberli Meyer, Director of the MAK Center and initiator and co-curator of the exhibition. “We have put together an important group of 23 artists that span multiple generations, and we’ve asked each artist to take into account the landscape of the city and the implication of the billboard as pop-public space.”
The exhibition follows nearly a decade of discussion amongst city residents and officials about billboards and their environmental impact on the city of Los Angeles. How Many Billboards? attempts to investigate the political and artistic implications of these media surfaces that saturate the city’s landscape, while also offering an alternative vision for public art display in Los Angeles, in which the city becomes the context for exhibition.