The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.
Victoria Crayhon/ Artist Statement 2016
Thoughts on Romance from the Road is a project that uses photography to document my text
interventions on roadside marquee signs. I place phrases on movie and motel marquee signs,
many of which I find through research but also in the course of my frequent long distance
travel by car. I use my own sign letters and then leave the scene with the words left intact
upon the sign. Before I depart, I make a photograph from the sidewalk or roadside. I then
make large-scale color prints as documents of the sign in its environment. The photograph
becomes the sole remnant of the project as the letters inevitably disappear or are taken down.
The work addresses the effect of media and technology upon human memory and desire.
In its brief existence, each sign installation is read by an audience comprised mostly of people
in cars or by roadside foot traffic. The experience of the viewer seeing the work in the
context of the outside world of roads, signs and billboards is important to me. I am
interested in viewers encountering my work in spaces they expect to see advertising or
propaganda. The text phrases are the voice of an individual, deliberately personal yet
sounding mysteriously familiar through the fragmented vernacular used within the spectacle
of advertising. I use language that references aspirations toward contentment and fulfillment
linked to promises of desire and romance provided by the realm of commodity and
entertainment. My texts are formulated to read as regurgitations of that, as though they are
public diary entries pertaining to banal realities of self and relationships based on comparison
with an ideal.
In a gallery space the work is usually presented as large color prints and looped video
documentation of the installations of the signs that existed in public for a limited period of
Whether or not an altered sign lasts out in the world for longer than a few days depends
upon who owns the property where each sign is located. Whenever possible I obtain
permission, if I can locate a property owner. If I cannot do so I will most likely use it anyway,
knowing that the installation could be more short-lived than in the opposite case. But I never
know precisely what will happen or how long the installations will remain intact.