Film produced by Art21

On October 31, 2017, Art21 joined Performa for the installation of Barbara Kruger's Untitled (Skate), as part of her Performa 17 Commission, at Coleman Skatepark in the Lower East Side. 

Watch the video! 


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.
[Above text by Art21]

About the Performa Commission:
Barbara Kruger has been employing media effects and strategies to create her own political and social messages around consumerism, mass media, and feminism on billboards, buses, newspapers, buildings, and parks for the past four decades. Her instantly recognizable—and frequently appropriated—visual style of delivering highly charged, terse phrases in white Futura Bold font over red blocks has radiated its influence on other visual artists, graphic design, mass media, and high fashion streetwear.

For the Performa 17 Biennial, Kruger broadcasted messages engaging issues of and ideas about power, desire, adoration, contempt, and capital all over New York City: on a billboard in Chelsea, on MetroCards distributed across four subway stations, on a yellow school bus, in a storefront shop in SoHo, and in one of New York’s most popular skate park underneath the Manhattan Bridge.

For more information on Barbara Kruger's Performa Commission, click HERE.

For more information on Art21, click HERE.