Why Did the Artist Cross the Road?
Posted by Terri on March 7, 2011 - 10:42am

Why did the artist cross the road?

To see the other side

To see from the other side

To encounter the other on the other’s side

To see where he had been

To give himself distance

To chart new territory

To get away from the noise

To follow the noise

To be sure that the road was a road

To make his own way

To create something new

To consider the old

To consider the new

To start over

To appreciate where he had been

To be somewhere else

At a dinner in honor of the artist and the opening of the exhibition Ed Ruscha: Road Tested, Ruscha told a variation of the old crossing-the-road joke. I can’t recall his reasons for the artist crossing the road and really regret not writing them down. Since my memory is unreliable—absent even—I filled in my own responses. Some of them reflect on what I think I know about the artist, some on the exhibition, and some are probably personal. This is an exercise that could go on endlessly and I encourage readers to make their own list based on personal thoughts and conclusions drawn from the exhibition.