Barbara Kruger: Part of the Discourse

While sharing her earliest influences and what led her to become an artist, Barbara Kruger explains the origins of her 2017 Performa commission, "Untitled (Skate)," a site-specific installation at Coleman Skatepark in New York City’s Lower East Side. Growing up in a working class family in Newark, New Jersey before landing a job as a designer for Condé Nast publications, Kruger considers how her design experience lent a fluency and directness to the development of her text-driven work. "Money talks. Whose values?" says Kruger, quoting some of the panels installed in the skatepark. "These are just ideas in the air and questions that we ask sometimes—and questions that we don’t ask but should ask." Direct not just in its address of the viewer, but also in its active engagement with social and political events, Kruger’s work uses the visual language of advertising to critique the very messages it emulates. Her work asks viewers to closely consider how global topics like consumerism and power play a role in their daily lives. "Something to really think about is what makes us who we are in the world that we live in." says the artist. "And how culture constructs and contains us." Featuring "Untitled (Skate)," a Performa commission for the Performa 17 Biennial installed at the Coleman Square Playground in New York City ( works from the artist’s multiple solo exhibitions at Mary Boone Gallery; and "FOREVER," a 2017 site-specific exhibition at Sprüth Magers Berlin, amongst others.

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