November 30, 2022

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Barbara Krueger: “Anyone shocked by what’s happening doesn’t notice” | art

FNew creators can claim the Museum of Talk art and Rage Against the Machine as fans and collaborators. Yet that’s the unifying force of 77-year-old conceptual artist Barbara Krueger’s work: It’s instant, powerful, and, as her team of imitators prove, it also looks great on a T-shirt.

Known for its iconic text works proclaiming “I Shop So I Am” and “Your Body is a Battleground” – the latter was given new life last spring as a Burning cover of New York magazine The artist is always humble. She told The Guardian: “I believe that no work of art is as wonderful and amazing and wonderful and grand, or as failed, absurd, horrific, and small as it is written.” “All allegations, judgments, surveys, and hyperbolic convictions are as symptomatic as the business you are dealing with.”

Kruger, who first gained widespread recognition for her banners for the 1989 Washington Women’s March for Legal Abortion, has been tireless a hero of reproductive freedoms for more than four decades. Her work is known to challenge society’s views on beauty, identity, social structures, and how we perceive our power (or lack thereof) within societal structures. With the Supreme Court’s recent move to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which disrupted the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, Kruger’s art has never been more important. Even if this confession may be bittersweet.

The first thing you hear when entering David Zwirner In Chelsea, New York, it is the metal jingle of a fire-powered typewriter. The sound, part of an immersive installation and a larger, self-titled presentation by Kruger, is buzzing and cuts through the calm that normally encapsulates the stark white space. However, the art on display is just as important as the cacophony of cacophony that explodes within its massive walls. on the point of view Until August 12The exhibition is a homecoming of the Los Angeles-based East Coast pioneer, whose collage work and text-based, anti-capitalist multimedia have helped define America’s activist aesthetic for nearly half a century.

Barbara Krueger, Untitled (Crew), 2016/2020
Barbara Krueger, Untitled (Crew), 2016/2020. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The most comprehensive individual display in Zwirner’s history, the exhibition boasts ecclesiastical and new works and coincides with Kruger’s extensive, site-specific installation – Barbara Krueger: I’m thinking of you. I mean myself. I mean you On display at the Maroon Family Lobby at MOMA, New York, as of July 16. This month is ending too lakma Tribute to Krueger and upbringing appear in Sprüth Magers From the early guerrilla groups “Paste”.

“My work is rarely event or event related, but it does try to create commentary about the ways in which we build and contain cultures,” she says, responding to the timing of the shows. “I’ve always said I’m trying to work on how we treat each other. I see this as an ongoing project.” Krueger, who began her career in the design department at Condé Nast in the 1960s, learned early on the power of words and images and the immediacy of visual elevator presentation as an image-based call to action. In the decades since, her pieces have taken on a life of their own, making cameos in movies and “inspiring” the black, white, and red Supreme logo, sparking a legendary war in the Hypebeast, with Kruger denouncing her imitators as “A ridiculous bunch of not-so-cool jokes“.

For presentation at Zwirner, classic works have been reshaped through a digital facelift using video and audio, LED care, and smart adjustments. For example, in Pledge, Will, Vow (1988/2020) – also included in the 59th Venice Biennale – excerpts from the Pledge of Allegiance to High Impact were written and recreated on screen, alluding to the sense that our current history is being edited and rewritten and sometimes Completely ignored by an unknown hand.

“Most of the work at Zwirner is motion picture installations that have been created and recreated within the past three years,” Krueger explains. “All of these things were responsive to the particular architecture and built environment that they contained,” she continued, noting her involvement in the challenges of locating her work. Although these fixtures are difficult to craft, which Kruger still sponsors, they feel very privileged. “I feel fortunate to have these wonderful opportunities to create work in these locations. I never take this for granted, because what is seen and what becomes prominent is often cruelly arbitrary,” she says, noting the exaggeration of some artists over others, as a result. The historical conditions, the brutality of social relations, the containment of ‘categories’ as well as the often volatile whims of the mercurial art market.” “I very much appreciate the current vision of my work and welcome this as I approach my centenary.”

Installation Scene, Barbara Krueger, David Zwirner,
Installation scene, Barbara Krueger, David Zwirner. Photography: Keri McFate/David Zwirner

For her latest act, Kroger, who wrapped Kim Kardashian’s infamously nude body with her trademark Futura line. On the cover of W magazine, dealing with how celebrities, technology, and social media shape our patterns of attention and consumption. Image/text works try to show and tell the stories of bodies and minds. How they might be portrayed and how they perceive themselves, she says. “In this time of massive collisions between voyeurism, narcissism, and rapid attention span, I feel very involved in self-presentations and headlines on social media. How millions of us are enamored, desired, worshiped, and shamed by these images.”

Meanwhile, on the streets, her work has taken on a new dramatic presence, with the Krogers impersonator appearing on banners and billboards at abortion rights protests across the country. It will be easy for less humble artist To feel the need to claim ownership. “As someone who would never have thought that anyone would know my name or my work, it is amazing and satisfying and disturbing, and it can only happen at a time when the speed of the spread of images is accelerating,” she says of the spread of her work, “and horribly, when the spread of plague, war and grievance is spreading severely.”

Ultimately, Kruger’s art excels when it allows the viewer to change his or her point of view, often overlooked or distorted. “My work has consistently focused on the weakness of bodies. How power is threaded through cultures. On how designs of hierarchies and capital determine who lives and who dies, who is kissed and who is slapped, who is praised and who is punished,” she explains.

Installation Scene, Barbara Krueger, David Zwirner,
Installation scene, Barbara Krueger, David Zwirner. Photography: Maris Hutchinson/David Zwirner

How does the artist feel about the latter? rule, has selected lyrics for those who follow it. “Roe’s cancellation should come as no surprise,” she warned. “Anyone shocked by what’s happening didn’t pay attention,” she says, referring to the United States’ fraught history of suppressing minority rights while promoting white supremacy. Any surprise in the current state of things is the result of a failure of imagination. for not understanding the power and punishment of what happened and worse, what comes next.” She believes that this failure of imagination has contributed to what has turned, in her words, into an “increasingly volatile time of reckoning and revenge.”

Instead of being shy, hope to build community. “More than ever, it’s important to enter simultaneous contests around race, gender, and class,” she says. “Not to separate these issues, their silos, and their hierarchical arrangement, but to know the interconnectedness of the forces that determine what it feels like to live another day. That hurt, heal, nourish, or destroy.”

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