Every week, we face this funny negotiation looking for a location to install at: Is there glare on the glass? What sort of things are going to show up behind the booth in a photo? Where's convenient for us to get to on the way home from work? Where can we find that's relevant to the artist or their work? Occasionally, things come together perfectly, which seems to be the case this week with Nicomi Nix Turner's LSD & THE DEVIL. For a lot of posters, those shadows on the phone booth could be a problem. With Nicomi's piece, we saw those and actually got quite excited. They lined up perfectly with the figure in her drawing, almost like rays of light coming down, rather than the shadow of a telephone pole. Which is all to say, sometimes we get lucky, but also that those shadows, which have fallen on every ad in that booth for years, finally served a kind of purposed and added to the beauty of the landscape.
Here are Nicomi's thoughts on the work:
LSD & THE DEVIL was a piece I had been wanting to work on for a while now. It’s nothing complex - a simple portrait. But behind the simplicity is something I have been grappling with for some time now: the moment when you don't know if you can believe your eyes or what your brain is telling you you're seeing or hearing. Initially diving into the works, I lead with the idea of hallucinations, divinity and the belief in heaven and hell after death, however, when RJ asked me to participate in this project, I felt the piece was fitting. In the age of digital manipulation, the internet and misinformation, it often feels like we often grapple with this parallel “reality" – the real life and the fabricated life. I’m participating in the project because so often we are coerced into accepting someone else’s concept of reality, and/or ideals and we all need a break from that when we can get it.
Nicomi makes a great point about the dangers of trusting and accepting reality as it is fed to us, and as that relates to advertising, it's of course reminiscent of this classic scene from They Live. By simply consuming advertising in the background of our lives every day, we fall victim to its often-subtle coercion. Quick: Name 5 insurance companies, or 3 beach vacation destinations. How did those answers come to mind? At least to some degree, it's because we've been seeing ads for Geico and Cancun all of our lives. Are they the best? Maybe, or maybe not. But we've accepted them as possible answers because they've been fed to us, even if we believe that "advertising doesn't work on me."
So, please enjoy this break: