Barbara Kruger (Billboard)
Billboard at 10th Avenue and 17th Street (Viewable from the High Line)
Barbara Kruger has issued terse, fine-edged directives in her instantly recognizable—and frequently appropriated—visual style of block text in white Futura Bold font over a blood-red background for more than four decades now. Though she has remained loyal both to her straightforward messages concerning consumerism and feminism, and her canvases of billboards, public buses, newspapers, magazine covers, and buildings, it is ironic that the most visible example of its imitation is by street wear labels, which vacillates between mainstream luxury sportswear and cultivators of a speculative rare-edition consumer class.
For Performa 17, Kruger reclaims her signature style in a high-profile public square in central New York City—a prime branding and real-estate profiting opportunity—by branding a skate park, free and open to the public, as well as its periphery walls, and stairs, with her designs addressing and interrogating ideals around feminism, consumerism, and modern mass media.
Image credit: Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Know, Believe, Forget), 2017. Photo © Paula Court. Courtesy of Performa.
Curated by RoseLee Goldberg and Esa Nickle, Producing Director, with Job Piston, Special Projects Manager, and Sasha Okshteyn, Associate Producer. Support is provided by the Performa Commissioning Fund, Sprueth Magers, Mary Boone, and Commissioning Council member Larry Warsh. Special thanks to Eric Goode, The Park Restaurant, The Turtle Conservancy, Steve Rodriguez, and EP+Co.