previews

  • Barbara Kruger

    Modern Art Oxford
    30 Pembroke Street
    June 27–August 31, 2014

    Curated by Sally Shaw

    In 1984, Barbara Kruger wrote “Job Description,” a short piece that begins, “Your work is about,” and then proceeds with a formidable list of such things as “formula and the elegant solution,” “desire and the prolongation of stasis,” and “pleasure and the proper name.” Three decades later, the operations Kruger named in this cheeky CV, a meditation on her work’s engagement with the public sphere, seem no less urgent. The artist’s signature style—which mimics the language of advertising to invert the power dynamic that that language imposes—no longer produces the uncanny confusion it once did. It now stands as immediately recognizable in its own right, and it is only more powerful for having come out from under cover. This summer, Kruger’s work—including her predigital “pasteups,” recent videos, and an enveloping site-specific piece—will fill Modern Art Oxford, asking viewers to consider, again, where they stand in relation to the ever-shifting landscape of the culture industry.