Spin (after Sol LeWitt)
Spin (after Sol LeWitt) creates resonant juxtapositions between the physical presence of street-corner advertising and the work of one of America’s founding conceptual artists, Sol LeWitt (1928-2007). Spinners take great pride in their ability and athleticism yet are sometimes vilified and outlawed for distracting drivers, ‘cheapening’ municipalities, and accepting seemingly low-skill jobs. Spin (after Sol LeWitt) challenges those assumptions by working with spinners to replace the advertising slogans on their signs with maxims from LeWitt’s genre-defining 1968 text, Sentences on Conceptual Art. Spinning the signs on street corners, they surprised passers-by with LeWitt’s ideas about the importance of irrational judgments and logical mysticism. Professional sign spinner Justin Charles Michael Brown puts the process in his own words. “Making people’s opinions of sign spinning matter is a very hilarious thing to do, because if you see a sign spinner for an apartment complex it doesn’t really matter what you think about it. You can enjoy it or not, and it doesn’t really matter. But when you enter the art world, those opinions are the thing that everybody’s after.” Spin (after Sol LeWitt) invites us to question the divisions we create between the exclusivity of conceptual art and the inclusive public life of street corners, parks, and competitive spectacle. Photo credit: Bobby Rogers, Josh Hawkins, Yumi Janairo Roth