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Barbara Kruger: Desire Exists Where Pleasure is Absent [Hardcover]

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Item description for Barbara Kruger: Desire Exists Where Pleasure is Absent by Veit Gorner...

Since the 1980s, Barbara Kruger has been widely considered one of the most important artists of her generation. A brilliant conceptualist who works with abrasive, large-format text and image collages, often installed to create overwhelming, all-encompassing propagandistic environments, she appropriates advertising imagery and other symbols of conspicuous consumption to question stereotypes and ask questions about identity and the cultural representation of power. This volume documents a 2006 graphic installation as well as the video installation, Twelve, both installed at kestnergesellschaft in Hannover. Kruger was awarded the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 Venice Biennale. She is represented in New York by Mary Boone.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   104
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.9" Width: 8.5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Kerber
ISBN  3938025956  
ISBN13  9783938025956  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > German > All German Books
2Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Arts & Photography
3Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Nonfiction
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > ( J-L ) > Kruger, Barbara
5Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General
6Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Artists, Architects & Photographers

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Insightful feminist commentary...  Feb 22, 2008
Barbara Kruger is widely regarded as one of the most significant (and delightfully contentious) artists of the 20th century. Called a "second-generation" feminist, Kruger's work broke vital ground in the male-dominant art world of the 1970s along with that of other controversial icons like Sherrie Levine Jenny Holzer and Cindy Sherman. (Slatkin, 1992) Kruger draws on her early work as a graphic artist, art director, and photo editor to inform the media and advertising oriented imagery she uses in her work. She sites photographer Diane Arbus and artist Marvin Israel as major influences in her early work.

Kruger works with mixed and multi media installations, typically involving text and images - some original and others found - to examine the cultural stereotyping of women, personal identity, socio-political authority and global consumption. By re-working images with powerful, superimposed textual messages Kruger pushes her audience to question the way conventional paradigms limit individual and national thinking/actions. Her most infamous works forces discussions about classicism, consumerism, feminism, social habit and cultural addiction/desire.

Veit Gorner's catalogue is a tangible representation of Twelve, the 2004 Kruger video installation. Twelve plays out over four large video screens set in a square and serves to insert the viewer into a series of short private dialogues. Each video is a commentary on a common human theme - love, family, friendship, control, opinion, obligation, identity - and each has a connection to the other via a similar premise. Gorner provides translations of the videos and commentary made about Kruger's work. Among those is this apt comment by Bertrand Russell:

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. (85)

This statement lets slip the strength of Barbara Kruger's work. To my mind Kruger is most admirable for her ability to engage in the critical dismantling of many of society's conventional modes of thought. Her use of publically recognized media or media styles and pithy but unrelenting statements (i.e.: the now familiar, "I Shop Therefore I Am.") allow the average art consumer to be a part of her creation process and to engage critical think skills even if they lack previous experience- both crucial jumping off points when engaging in a war against the status quo of zombie-like conformity.

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