Foreseeing the Flooding Faculties: Kruger Effect

Tanya Chaturvedi | January 13, 2024 | Art

Textual depth of virtuosity is eliciting conversation in the seascaped Bombay this weekend. DAG (DAG world), Gallerie-Isa, and Tarq-Mumbai (tarq: a commentary), among others, have lit up the seaport capital. Halfway across the world, another seaport capital- London is set to house the coeval Barbara Kruger. ‘Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.’ is Kruger’s first solo institutional exhibition in London in over 20 years. Commencing at Serpentine-South and public-owned spaces, from February 1- March 17 2024, the site-specific exhibition will include her works from recent years.

Stretching the radar through an exclusive selection in media formats, Barbara Kruger’s work will translate and present itself as multiple installations, moving image works, and soundscapes. Set to captivate the city, a parallel can be drawn between the enveloping-effect of Kruger’s production and the site presentation intended for Serpentine building, bookshop and outside banner supplemented with populous wrap-around screens of Outernet Arts.

(L-R) Artists Neil Toroni, Barbara Kruger, Jessica Diamond
‘Wall to Wall’ group exhibit

The last recorded presentation by Kruger at Serpentine, London, was artist’s group exhibit ‘Wall to Wall’ in 1994. Awaiting London, looks forward to Barbara’s artistry, presently prophesied for victory on account of her devotion to explore visual culture and image production. Kruger has shown an impeccable commitment in energising and challenging the language systems of advertising, graphic design and zine assembly—an act of dichotomy.

Svasa Life apotheosises the flow-starter for tarq—ideation, commentary and conversation awaiting, across the world fuelled by the undertones of capital, class, gender and power mechanism embellishing Kruger’s work. Re-animating works from her past, she reveals the theme of her onlooking exhibit as reflection, concluded from her interview where she described the presentation as ‘is about how we are to one another’.

Site-specific installation from ‘Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.’ at Serpentine Gallery

“It would be great if my work became archaic, if the issues that they try to present, the commentary that I’m trying to suggest was no longer pertinent. Unfortunately, that is not the case at this point” says Barbara Kruger in hope for renewed synergy. Kruger, born in 1945 in Newark, USA, synthesises art rooted in visuals of words, words and pictures. Ornate institutional education and work experience contributed to the achievements Barbara showcases. Untitled (No comments), Untitled (That’s the way we do it), Untitled (Forever), and Pledge, Will, Vow are a few feathers from Kruger’s hat that have proved precedent as exceptional artist’s manifesto; embracing digital and commercial appropriation of one’s work. The focal point being omnipresent, her work can be spotted as projection onto buildings, billboards, hoardings, cars, buses, and skate parks along with print newspapers.

(L-R) Portrait of Barbara Kruger; ‘Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.’ at Serpentine Gallery

‘Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.’, adapted for Serpentine South, is Barbara Kruger’s response to the fluid change in space and its context. An iteration of her work, previously presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2022), Art Institute of Chicago (2021-2022), and Museum of Modern Art in New York (2022-2023), also marks the significance of the elaborate production’s first presentation outside of the US. Free-floating, statements and bodies form the framework for the exhibit. The relevance of the work, Kruger is set to exhibit, and herself can be matched by the dogma of allurance to men, women, and non-binary; where Kruger mentions, ‘the only binary that counts now are digital binaries. I believe in the possibility of the multiplicity of bodies, and those bodies are all vulnerable.’

Through landscapes of Serpentine South and Outernet Arts, Londres is set to welcome, with predisposed affection—Barbara Kruger, renowned for her signature agitprop style, play of scales, sound sensitisation, and speculation, after interminability of 20 years.

Words by Tanya Chaturvedi.
Image courtesy Serpentine Gallery.

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