• Gibson Main Web

    Jeff Gibson "Armagarden," 2015 (click arrows for more images)
    On main billboard, in Hatton, Missouri, December 2015–February 2016


  • Gibson satellite WEB

    Jeff Gibson "Armagarden," 2015 (click arrows for more images)
    Installed March 2016, near O’Fallon, MO, at I-70 exit #216


  • Gibson satellite WEB

    View of Jeff Gibson's "Armagarden" from RV dealership lot where billboard is located (click arrows for more images)

  • Gibson satellite WEB

    View of Jeff Gibson's "Armagarden" from I-70 exit #216 overpass (click arrows for more images)


Gibson’s conceptual arrangement of Google images addresses I-70’s many ads for guns and gun shows while engaging the national gun-control debate. Are weapons as essential to our world as produce, part of the consumer bounty of American freedoms? Or does the equalizing of these banal Internet gleanings strike a cautionary note against insensitivity to violence, marking flowers as historical signifiers for peace? “Armagarden” takes no side in the argument, yet—like all Sign Show artworks—its potential meaning shifts when it appears in different contexts.
On the project main billboard, in rural mid-Missouri, Gibson's gun-garden content addressed surroundings where farming and hunting often are commonplace to how people live and survive in their environment. When his artwork moved to its second location—on a billboard in the middle of an RV dealership lot 30 miles west of St. Louis—it connected gun culture more to lifestyle choice and leisure activity. Appropriately, this new location also placed “Armagarden” at a literal crossroads: an interstate overpass whose signage for directions east and west seemed emblematic of a divisive political issue.
One way to think about “Armagarden” generally is in the spirit of the seventeenth-century Dutch "vanitas" painting, in which a beautiful arrangement of food and luxury goods reveals itself, on closer inspection, to be a scene of recent debauchery and immanent decay: broken crystal, plates of oyster shells, and lemons whose sensuous, curling, rind peels distract from the reality that the fruit will soon spoil. Death is the message of the still life, with the moral imperative to remember that our physical world is fleeting, and fragile, and to think about the beyond.
Jeff Gibson is an Australian-born artist and occasional critic. He has worked in a variety of media and contexts—photography, video, prints, posters, banners, and books for galleries and public spaces. A former senior editor of Art&Text magazine, Gibson moved to New York in 1998 to work for Artforum, where he is currently managing editor. Since arriving in New York, he has produced two artist’s books (Dupe: A Partial Compendium of Everyday Delusions [2000] and Sarsaparilla to Sorcery [2007]), exhibited on the Panasonic Astrovision screen in Times Square as part of Creative Time’s “59th Minute” program, and mounted solo shows at the New York Academy of Sciences, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery (New York), and The Suburban (Chicago). Through­out January 2011, two of the artist’s videos, Smoke and Asylum (both 2010), were projected onto the facade of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York, as part of a curated series presented by Light Work and the Urban Video Project. His video Metapoetaestheticism, 2013, was exhibited in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
For images and more information, see the artist's website.
video of billboard installation
Copyright © 2015 — I-70 Sign Show
All artist images, copyright © the respective artists

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