Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, Chapter 8: Bobbi Woods launches in Tucson

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)
Apr 28, 2015 9:34PM

Tucson, AZ

March 6 - April 2015

For the eighth chapter of the Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, Bobbi Woods’ billboards in Tucson, AZ create a cinematic-style experience of “driving through” the images, which are mined form a variety of sources – from Alfred Stieglitz’s cloud photographs to luxury advertisements to Hollywood visions of masculinity – and layered into a deliberately hazy amalgam of consumer and capitalist desire. Drawing from Woods’ work in video and with poster advertisements, she conceals and combines various sources to destabilize the function of the billboard medium as a means to advertise and convey clear messaging.

Images culled from the internet (to Woods, the other highway: the “information superhighway”) combined with Stieglitz’s black and white photographs from his series, Equivalent, function as the background for many of the billboards. The hazy and muted tones fade in and out of the clouds like a mirage in the desert while simultaneously mirroring the sky behind the boards themselves. On one billboard, an appropriated advertisement stating “ALL MEN ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL” directly relates to the country’s ongoing struggle with equal rights to those of color, LGBT sexual orientation, and women.  In other billboards, Woods collages and superimposes images of commercial and sexual desire with past movie posters of films shot in the Tucson area, cropping and refiguring them to reveal subliminal messaging about how the American “wild west” and masculinity are portrayed in the film industry, highlighting this propaganda and the false portrayal of heroics in relationship to Manifest Destiny.

To launch the billboard chapter, LAND and artist Bobbi Woods hosted a debut screening of a new video work  and reception at MOCA Tucson on March 7.

This project is made possible with support from The Offield Family Foundation and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works and with support from Clear Channel Outdoor and Juggernaut Outdoor.   Special thanks to MOCA Tucson.

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)