The Soap Factory’s Americana exhibition puts together 9 artists whose work explores the American experience by touching on, amongst other things, the suburbs, Manifest Destiny, consumerism and cheerleaders.
MVA partner Zachary Keenan explored a number of different visualizations of American culture including car manuals. What excited everyone about this idea is that it didn’t tie the exhibition to one American sub-culture or environment—everyone drives and will continue to drive until the lights go out on this planet. The themes of Manifest Destiny, suburbia, freedom, waste and consumerism are implicit in the concept of automobiles and driving.
The arrangement of the graphics takes visual pieces from the history of car manuals—the large flag/landscape graphic was lifted from an early 70s guide while the fonts reference materials from the 1930s on—to create a simple Modernist composition of abstraction and typography
We recently took a closer look at The Soap Factory to find new exterior locations that would allow us to put up more posters and better promote their programs. Locating clear sight lines on a factory from the 1800s can be pretty difficult–windows panes have been broken and replaced with materials that don’t match and others have been boarded up. Happily this door on 2nd Ave SE just needed to be cleaned. Our last poster was too subtle for this location so this time we stripped away the list of artists and replaced it with the major info a passer-by needs—the dates (also, next time, we’ll get the 2" gap at the top dealt with).
The exhibition is up for 2 months so The Soap Factory will need to talk about it for awhile. To avoid fatiguing their fans by posting the same image repeatedly so we made a set of images that can be used for the duration of the show’s run, some for very specific dates such as the day of the opening reception. Americana has only been open for 2 days at the time of this writing so we will likely create more micro-content like this throughout July and August 2014.