Anti-Advertising Billboard Project
Scott Massey, Vancouver, BC.
September – November, 2014
“I THINK that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.”
~ Ogden Nash
In early July, 2014, PAVED Arts issued a nation wide call for submissions for what was generally termed an “anti-advertising” project. Given that the centre programs a billboard space on an ongoing basis, the project is intended to critique the very nature of this venue, as an art work that ironically takes on the format of public billboard advertisements. In short, the project should in someway implicate the ongoing colonizing movement of advertizing in public urban spaces. Of the 56 submissions that were received, the “Outstanding Outdoor” project by Vancouver-based artist Scott Massey was selected.
In the artist’s own words:
“Outdoor advertising is nearly impossible to avoid seeing. It is pervasive and, by virtue of its purpose, meant to stand out and obscure everything else in the vicinity. In essence, it is visually “loud”. But perhaps because of its desirable appeals to love, sex, happiness and material wealth, it remains largely uncontested in the public sphere. This is a puzzling phenomenon when, contrasted with the outspoken criticisms and laments from the public over some public art installations, the effects of this visual advertising clutter are rarely discussed critically.”