Looking at Ourselves

The "Plenty" exhibition at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y. (Photo by Gary Mamay)

Excerpt from “Resurgent Agitprop in Capital Letters,” by Dorothy Spears, New York Times, August 29, 2010

“In broad term, much of [Barbara] Kruger’s recent art is similar to the work that made her famous 30 years ago, built around puckish, aphoristic bits of texts that are at once politically biting and coolly aloof. But the ideas behind them have changed with a culture that Ms. Kruger, now 65 and a self-declared news addict, monitors like an anthropologist…

Over the past two decades Ms. Kruger’s cut-and-paste method, and the archives of pictures she once used, have been replaced by digital technology. Her installations are now typically built electronically, and conveyed via digital files to printers and fabricators. Still, as much as technology has altered her process, she said, the most dramatic change in her work has been on the cultural front. In addition to reading three newspapers daily, she now avidly follows 24-hour news feeds and Web sites from all points on the political spectrum, as well as a constantly shifting stream of reality television shows. The changes she sees reflected there are the ones that interest her most.

“We don’t need mirrors anymore,” she observed. “We look at ourselves on YouTube. We look at ourselves on Twitter. It’s ‘This is what I’m doing now.’

“I look at that. And I make work about it.”