Durant, SamBorn 1961, USA
Lives in Los Angeles
IN THE GALLERY
Photographic documentation of historic protests, culled mostly from newspapers, makes up the source material for Durant’s light boxes and posters. They are faithful reproductions of slogans from protest signs—adopting their graphic shape, but isolating them from their context, thus transforming them into enigmatic and yet shockingly generic logos. Gestures of protest, freedom of speech, and public expression—essential elements of any democracy—are stripped of the cause they meant to support.
On the one hand, Durant seems to suggest that protest itself, as a demonstration of power, is what matters in a democratic society. On the other, he points out the problematic of the image of protest as it circulates in the mass media, losing its meaning as it is easily appropriated by those in power, for instance when President George W. Bush, questioned about anti-war protests, remarked, “See, this is what we’re fighting for.” Durant critiques the mechanisms of branding that transform desires and relationships into emotionally charged but essentially meaningless icons.
Wednesday, October 22
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery
Charrette with Sam Durant and Parsons class:
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Presentation: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Both events open to the public
In this charrette, claims of advertising and branding intended to generate desire, are severed from their products and turned into political claims. Durant will work with students to mine advertisements and branding campaigns to create “protest” signs timed to the upcoming elections.
A conversation between Sam Durant and Janet Kraynak will follow at 6:30 p.m.
This charrette is hosted by Parsons and Eugene Lang College faculty member Janet Kraynak.
See You in Chicago in August 2002
Electric sign with vinyl text
55” x 46” x 9 1/2”, Edition 3/3, Photo credit: Achim Kukulies
Collection Rebecca and Alexander Stewart
Also included: Washington, D.C. 1968 2002
Reproduction of source drawing, graphite on paper
15" x 20"
Courtesy the artist
Also included: See You in Chicago in August 2008
Print on paper, distributed in stacks throughout New School campus
35" x 24"
Courtesy the artist, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York