Barbara Kruger to transform AGO facade
This is pretty cool: I received word this morning that the AGO had commissioned Barbara Kruger to do a huge treatment of its fancy Frank Gehry facade for the Contact Festival next month. The piece will span the entire block of Dundas, from McCaul to Beverly streets.
You'll likely know Kruger even if you don't know her; never confined to the gallery walls, Kruger's distinctive, subversive technique of media collage, graphic deisgn and text has appeared not only as art, but as billboards, bus shelter ads, and content in newspapers like the New York Times and magazines like Esquire and Newsweek, for which she's done covers.
I had the great luck to be in Los Angeles when the Kruger retrospective opened at MOCA's Geffen annex there; lost in the swirl of black, white and red images and text, it was beyond striking to experience Kruger's unsettling, confrontational, blunt send-up of the manufactured world of media, advertising and consumer culture; that she started working in the 70s makes her prescient indeed.
"I work with words and pictures because they have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren't," Kruger has said. More closely, perhaps, they serve as devices to tell us what we want to be. Kruger's reversal of that impulse is cutting indeed.