PRINT April 2003

’80s AGAIN

Rachel Harrison

Many women came to prominence in the ’80s by positioning themselves in terms of appropriation, using the means of advertising and pop culture. It was a way of taking the tools of ’70s Conceptualism and turning it into something where gender was at the forefront of the work. Artists such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, and Louise Lawler positioned themselves differently than had, say, Martha Rosler or Carolee Schneeman. They made work that was political, but its form mirrored the economy of the times. Its slickness and surface was self-reflexive, and that’s what made the work critical.

As told to Tim Griffin