View of “Barbara Kruger,” 2011. (Photo: Joshua White/JWPictures)


Barbara Kruger’s latest solo exhibition is on view at L&M Arts, Los Angeles until July 9. Filling the interior and exterior of the gallery, the show includes recent installations, projections, and multichannel videos by the inimitable New York– and LA-based artist.

FIVE HUNDRED WORDS can be too many or not enough. I should probably choose those words carefully. The choice of voice is important. I mean, this is Artforum, right?

And what to say? Should I foreground the apparatus at work when artists appear in magazines? Because an artist’s relation to publications, websites, blogs, or any other discourse and/or chatter is fraught. Should that fraughtness become the subject and engagement of these 500 words: how it’s all part of a subcultural anthropology that works to determine the visibility or invisibility of a practice? How it talks about how bodies making work are transformed into figures: into big-shot proper names making art? But maybe that’s obvious. But is it? Should the language be rigorous with an exhausting attempt to impress or should it exude a kind of well-rehearsed casualness? Maybe I should just recite a short narrative about what’s going on with me now. Just tell the story. A story I never thought I’d have the good luck to tell. But I better get on with it, because my 500 words are slipping away. Ok, here’s the “press release.”

I’m having an exhibition at L&M Arts in Los Angeles and it’s my first gallery show here in twenty-seven years. I don’t exactly have a Santa’s-workshop mode of production. But I did have an exhibition at LA MoCA in 1999 (that meant so much to me), had a video included in West of Rome’s “Women in the City” project, and currently have an installation at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA. But I felt it was time to do a gallery exhibition of my video installation The Globe Shrinks and a room wrap in L&M’s second building, the old Venice Beach power station. I just finished installing and that’s always the best part. But all the social paraphernalia around openings is like the ninth circle of hell to me. I like the everyday. I like the moments between events. And writing these 500 words feels kind of eventlike to me. And so far I only have 353 words. I hope this will be OK.

— As told to Aram Moshayedi