Thoughts on Romance from the Road

Words | Joyce Tsang Translation | Phaedrus Lam
I went to San Diego with my best friend some years ago. One of the most memorable thing about the city, apart from its beautiful shoreline, was how free the city was regarding billboard advertisements. They made it a great place to visit, even though most tourists tend to overlook them.

Signs and billboards not only create the scape of our city, but they also carry particular contents which involve propaganda and advertisements. They surround us with information that the media wants us to see on a daily basis. Somewhat forced into our lives, they become important pieces of impressions for the city.

Victoria Crayhon is an artist who has been making long road trips in order to find marquee sign sites to intervene with. She replaces the text on cinema signs and roadside billboards with her own letters, so that “the voice of an individual, deliberately personal yet sounding mysteriously familiar through the fragmented vernacular used within the spectacle of advertising” is injected.

Her collection of Thoughts on Romance from the Road aims to challenge the notion of “banal realities of self and relationships based on comparison with an ideal”. After she has rearranged the texts on these public displays, she takes a photo or a video, and transforms the documentation into pieces for her art exhibition. Since she rarely knows exactly how long her signs can stay up for, these mostly short-lived installations are given an additional quality, which challenges and comments upon the notion of “human memory and desire” with its brief physical existence.