Barbara Kruger "Lecture"

Barbara Kruger "Lecture"

de Appel, Brouwersgracht 196, Amsterdam
β€˜Barbara Kruger's presentation in De Appel on November 10, 1982 was introduced as a discussion of the use of mass media in her work. One of the interesting aspects of the evening, therefore, was that quite a bit of time and language was devoted to shifting the emphasis from this sort of background categorization, to the consequences of her work. The public at De Appel wanted to know more about her relationships in the past and present with the world of design, Marxist theory, capitalism, galleries and so forth. The responses, delivered in a rich, foreign prose which created a linguistic labyrinth for at least part of the crowd, indicated, among other things: a honing of skills gleaned from advertising production, a desire to avert leftist pigeonholing, an awareness of 'art' within the patriarchy, and attention to the significance of the market economy. The vocabulary set a tone known to those familiar with her film reviews in, for example, Artforum. In contrast with her layered style of public address, the terse messages in her combinations of photo and text are accessible to all. This verbal distinction, for some, strengthens her dialectic. For others, the weighty commentary tended to obscure the less intimidating, albeit aggressive, messages in her exhibited works. Apart from any language barrier, certainly artistic climate and differing social concerns affect the reception of such specialized terminology.’ (Martha Hawley, 'Linguistic contours', De Appel, 3 (1983) 1, p. 31.)