Sep 30, 12:49 pm
Zoe Crosher: Head Out on the Highway, Forget the Adventure, by Jordan Auckland for Flaunt Magazine
A child of a diplomat and a flight attendant, Los Angeles-based artist Zoe Crosher spent much of her childhood as an outsider, detached from the country of her birth. Time and again her works return to the themes of transience and impermanence, yet Crosher shuns the idea that her work has a place in the canon of counter-culture. “Counter-culture is a word that never even enters my vocabulary,” she says. “I associate this notion with a more traditional and historical approach to activism, a more reactive stance, literally a countering to culture. It is an approach that certainly is important and has a place, but is not, at least for now, the strategy I employ to effect change. I’m looking for a way through something, not against something—or perhaps this very approach defines an iconoclast, and I am one even if I don’t intend to be?”
While many artists lose themselves in counter-culture, rebellion, and rock and roll, Crosher walks a different path: “I’m not interested in criticizing, destroying or opposing whatever the status quo is for its own sake. I am much more interested in notions of expansions—of engaging, activating, and opening up conventional standards to go beyond whatever the current norms and expectations are.”
Crosher might doubt that she is an iconoclast, yet her work continuously chases new horizons. In her work with the LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) Manifest Destiny Billboard Project, Crosher created a series of billboards of lush vegetation that stretched through the Californian desert, urging “people to reconsider the history and mythology of the cross-country road trip.”
“My hope was to disrupt their normal commute,” Crosher says, “Their everyday—to present the passersby with images just unfamiliar enough as to shake them out of their predictable comfort zone of traditional commercial billboard imagery.
“Instead of talking abstractly and fantasizing about the trip West, the idea is to physically move through the problematic landscape being fantasized—to punctuate the landscape by tracing territorial expansion from East to West, to insist on reconsidering the history behind the fantasy.”
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