Monday, December 08, 2008

Straight talking

Friday’s New York Times mentioned Barbara Kruger Basel Miami show with Mary Boone. How about these two zinger quotes used in her installation?

“We are the slaves of objects around us.” - Goethe

“He entered shop after shop, priced nothing, spoke no word, and looked at all objects with a wild and distracted stare.” - Edgar Allan Poe

Hard to believe that 20 years ago we saw a major survey show of Kruger at the National Art Gallery’s Shed 11 in Wellington and had the chance to talk with her at a dinner Luit and Jan Bieringa gave a few days before the show. It was an incredible experience, Kruger was funny, smart and loved being in New Zealand. Strange then, earlier this year to hear consultant Ken Gorbey (one of the names of shame that helped remove the idea of contemporary international art from the Te Papa menu) still taking time out to bad mouth the NAG on radio. He claimed that the idea the National Art Gallery, pre-Te Papa, had been as exciting as many people claimed was a myth. You had to be there.

Images: In the same vein, Barbara Kruger Men's T for the Whitney Biennial, front (left) and back. You can buy one here.