Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Zone A Exhibition - (Curated by: Candice Hopkins)

Sam Durant, End White Supremacy, 2008, Electric sign with vinyl text
Photo: Jenni Carter

Queen's Park Crescent East (Between College Street and St. Joseph Street)
View Location

Electric Signs, 2002, 2008

Sam Durant - Los Angeles, USA

7 Electric signs with various vinyl texts (Sculpture / Installation)

These signs are commercially-produced, outdoor illuminated display units. They are the ubiquitous types of advertisements found on the sides of local businesses convenience stores, restaurants, liquor stores and auto repair shops. The texts are culled from photographs of hand-painted signs used in protest marches, sit-ins, uprisings  and other events around liberation struggles in North America and Australia, from the 1960s to 2007. These texts are then enlarged to the appropriate scale and affixed to the face of each sign to create a mechanically reproduced, exact replica of the hand-painted original. 

Many of these signs focus on Indigenous land and civil rights. They address nations such as the U.S., Australia, and Canada that are founded upon the appropriation of entire continents and the eradication of vast proportions of Indigenous populations. In many of these countries, this tragic history forms the basis of the institutional racism we currently experience. Institutional racism constructs and maintains social experiences as natural and reality. It is to this reality that the artist's project is addressed.

Sam Durant is a multimedia artist whose works engage a variety of social, political and cultural issues. Often referencing American history, his work explores the varying relationships between culture and politics, engaging subjects as diverse as the civil rights movement, southern rock music and modernism. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande and Westfalen, Dusseldorf, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand. 

Suitable for all ages

© Sam Durant

Thank you to:
Courtesy of the artist; Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York; and anonymous.