Billboard Vinyls | site-specific installations | 2012-present
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THE DEPAUL ART MUSEUM, Chicago, IL, 2015 (four at 15 feet).
TRANSFORMER STATION, The Bidwell Foundation, Cleveland, OH, 2013 (22 feet).
For Matt Siber’s Billboard Vinyl series, used billboard advertisements are transformed by the act of suspending them from the ceiling, obscuring their message in the drapes and folds of the heavy vinyl material. This treatment emphasizes the scale and materiality of these objects as opposed to their content—reversing the viewer’s typical experience of such ads. The loose, hanging form implies inertness and obsolescence—a message without an audience—while the installation invites viewers to consider the piece in purely aesthetic terms.
– Fred Bidwell
TEACHERS COLLEGE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York, 2012 (12 feet).
Details and Description
Material: Used billboard vinyls.
Dimensions: Dependent on venue.
Presentation: Suspended from ceiling.
The idea behind these pieces is to disarm the messaging system using three strategies. (1) By suspending the vinyls from their centers, the billboard breaks from its two-dimensional interaction with the viewer. The folds and drapes not only allude to classicism, but also serve to obscure the message. (2) The vinyls are suspended from a the ceiling rather than supported by an internal structure. The hanging action gives a sense of inertness, like a handkerchief hanging from between two fingers. (3) These pieces are intended to be beautiful, three-dimensional objects. They take on a form that is incongruous with the original intent and purpose of the 2D messaging system.
This installation addresses issues of scale in public messaging systems, something that is lost in our normal interaction with billboards as we view them from a great distance. These pieces not only allow the viewer to be dwarfed by the object, but viewers could also be invited to touch and move them, adding materiality to the otherwise abstract, immaterial notion of the billboard.
Exhibition pieces are carefully chosen for their content and include graphic and photographic material. I am interested in exploring the idea of a 2D photograph/graphic as a 3D object with this treatment.
The Billboard Grid sculpture could make an excellent companion piece to the vinyls. I envision them being shown in different rooms but nearby one another.