Two glossy posters hang in the 2nd Cannons vitrine: a yellow poster with yellow cartoonish font that says “Foolin Around’” and a red poster with yellow writing that says in a mustardy squirt “Waiting…” Deadpan, simple, obviously pop, but vague in specific reference, without knowing these two films, as I didn't, the works are stripped of meaning in a way where we could fill in the blanks, though I did try to figure out the exhibition through it's references.
With the lack of a press release as some kind of faulty guide, I went online (Internet Movie Data Base to be precise) to see if I could find the original move posters and maybe glean some meaning from the references.
And I found them.
Plot synopsis for “Foolin’ Around” (1980)
A working-class boy falls for a girl from a wealthy family, and must compete for her with a rich boy who also wants her.
Plot synopsis for “Waiting…” (2005):
Young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant collectively stave off boredom and adulthood with their antics.
I can't really perceive any relationship between the two pieces, except that they both came from movies of course and the graphical qualities of the strange relationship visually of the poster-texts themselves, totally free of their references, the cartoony swerve of fooling around and the mustardy squirt of “Waiting…” (which is actually a ketchup-y squirt in the original poster). Are they nostalgic movies, posters that were hanging around the artist's studio looking for a home, or somewhat poetically connected in some imperceptible way?
They’re both kinds of appropriation, but appropriations stripped of their original meaning, and opened up for us to insert or attach our own. They both feel like some kind of vague art historical reference for me, I can’t find anything for Foolin’ Around, (a Freddy Mercury song, but that’s not quite right, another Ruscha text-work tucked away) but I’m sure there’s something knocking around, a reminder for something I can no longer remember, the string around my finger for which I can’t recall why I put the string there, the unnamed phone number scrawled into the margins of a book, definitely in my writing, but it’s purpose completely lost. A joke in my dream for which I wake up laughing not remembering what made it so funny.
Waiting… on the other hand, as a visual text, has some relationship to Ed Ruscha’s sixties squirts and spills into writing (though you can sort of see the movie poster clues underneath what I assume is red spray-paint, a picture of a hot dog, some lame tag line). But even in this, the two titles feel kind of like they have a kind of longing, either for some time in the past or for something that is never going to come. This longing however is somewhat moderately belied by the ketchup and mustard colors of the posters, as if they were merely sauces for some main dish never to be served, or perhaps invented by us, the spectators, like the meaning of the piece. They attract me because they give so few clues on what they’re supposed to imply, everything has to be guessed or gleaned perhaps incorrectly… The pop reference is made obscure and the signifier starts to float, the meaning becomes diffuse. I can only imagine the movies they’re gleaned from. They’re intriguing titles at the least, I’d rather reinvent the movies than actually see them, and with everything else gone, I feel like I’ve been invited to try.
- Andrew Berardini, Senior Editor, West Coast and Worldwide
(Images courtesy of 2nd cannons and the artist)