On the Road

Exhibition: May 13 – Sep 5, 2010

On the Road takes its title from the legendary book by American poet and novelist Jack Kerouac, who recounts his eventful road trips across the United States in the late 1940s. The exhibition investigates the mythology of the American motoring adventure as it began to develop in the early 1920s, with the advent of immense expansions of the highway system, particularly in the West of the country. Featuring two interrelated components, the first part of the exhibition presents the practices of artists whose images and works have long been associated with the exploration of the West by way of the automobile. The second part is the result of a recent two-week excursion through Texas by the curator, during which a number of artifacts and documents were collected for display. Beyond looking at the road trip from a nostalgic point of view, On the Road explores the idea of such a drive as a rite of passage, a journey toward emancipation on the way to a destination that may be largely unknown but which holds the promise of liberating self-discovery.