Spectacle and Nothing Strange (2011–) is a series of letterpress posters with fragments of text culled from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons (1914) and How to Write (1931). Fowler’s works were printed by the now-defunct Colby Poster Printing Company, a Los Angeles business that for more than sixty years made commercial posters advertising anything from music, wrestling and sporting events to carnivals, cheap car loans and hair care products. Fowler provided specific instructions to the printers to apply their seemingly endless combinations of colors and typographies to the posters. She then distributed them throughout the Los Angeles area, re-inserting the recognizable visual and graphics forms into the urban landscape of Los Angeles with a language not immediately discernable.
While the colorful gradients and various typefaces of A Spectacle and Nothing Strange resonates with existing forms of advertising, the phrases such as “Very different but much more,” “Rub her coke,” and “Anyone telling anything is telling that thing,” make strange the associations of these advertising graphics. Fowler’s posters disrupt the expectations of everyday informational spaces, queering the experience of both language and public space.