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, installing them while filming the placing of the phrases and then leaving the scene with words left intact upon the sign.
Afterward I make my photograph of the finished sign from the sidewalk or roadside, shooting from the vantage point of the driver or pedestrian. I use a large format camera and make large-scale color prints as documents of the sign in its environment. The photograph becomes the sole remnant of the project as the signs inevitably disappear or are taken down.—Victoria Crayhon
Thoughts on Romance on the Road is a project by Rhode Island-based photographer Victoria Crayhon that addresses the effect of media and technology upon human desire. Her roadside text installations read like “public diary entries”—personal and mysterious, they reference “aspirations toward contentment and fulfillment” and combine everyday reality with the ideal. They are intended to provoke the viewer; Crayhon says she is interested in how viewers encounter the work in spaces that are usually reserved for ads or propaganda.
When exhibited in a gallery, Crayhon’s color prints are presented alongside video of her roadside installation process.