How many billboards?
Photo: Gerard Smulevich

Martha Rosler with Josh Neufeld

While conceptual artist and writer Martha Rosler works in a variety of media, her practice has been particularly important to the development of conceptual photography. Rosler's approach to photography focuses equally on issues of gender, class, and American foreign policy, as well as the production, display, and dissemination of photographic images. Some of her most influential works in the medium consciously strive to reveal the power dynamics between subject and photographer. Her seminal photo series The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems (1974-1975) is a potent example of her persistent questioning of the unacknowledged complexities of photographing "the other" in American society under the guise of socially concerned or documentary photography.

For How Many Billboards?, Rosler uses the billboard as a site for social critique in addition to art making. In collaboration with graphic novelist Josh Neufeld, the artist emphasizes the desperate need for Americans to come together to address today's social inequities in order to secure our own future. Their references to California's "seismic shift" in the allocation of resources to prisons-as opposed to schools-and the unacknowledged power of corporations within the University of California system localize a national concern for Angelenos walking or driving by the billboard.
By Lisa Henry

LOCATION: Sunset Blvd, west of Cahuenga Blvd, on the north side of the street, facing east
METRO: Sunset Blvd. Metro Bus 2, 302
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Martha Rosler (b. 1943)
Martha Rosler works in multiple media, including photography, sculpture, video, and installation. Her work on the public sphere centers on war but also on everyday life and the media, often with an eye to women's experience. Investigating landscapes of the everyday, she has produced works on the uses of space, including architecture and housing, as well as systems of airplane, automobile, and subway travel. Her project The Martha Rosler Library toured the U.S. and Europe from 2005 through December 2009. She currently is a professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For How Many Billboards, she has collaborated with graphic novelist Josh Neufeld.

Josh Neufeld (b. 1967)
Josh Neufeld is a Brooklyn-based writer and artist. His works include A.D: New Orleans After the Deluge (Pantheon Books, 2009), a nonfiction graphic novel about Hurricane Katrina, and the graphic travelogue A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe) (Alternative Comics, 2004). His work has been featured in The Vagabonds, Keyhole, and Titans of Finance, as well as in numerous comics anthologies, newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. He is a longtime artist for Harvey Pekar's American Splendor, and his art has been exhibited in gallery and museum shows in the United States and Europe.

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