(LA Trend) — Barbara Kruger’s “Untitled (Shafted)” was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2008, and employs advertising text and sharp, poetic phrases to devastating effect, particularly in its biting critique of such concepts as consumerism, misogyny, power, and desire.
“Untitled (Shafted)” is a massive installation that takes up the entire elevator shaft of BCAM, and uses the architecture itself as a vehicle for its powerful message. Functioning less like a static piece of art and more as an immersive experience, this installation bombards guests with messages about consumption and consumerism as they wait for the elevator to arrive on any of the three floors at the museum.
At the top of the installation is the George Orwell quote, “If you want a PICTURE of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face, forever,” which is emblazoned on an image of a man’s eyes, which is then followed by a depiction of many common products that runs throughout the length of the shaft, bisected by the phrase, “PLENTY SHOULD BE ENOUGH, RIGHT?”.
While provocative, the vivid red peppered with bands of black and white text pack a necessary punch towards the heart of society’s power structures and our roles within them.
Much of Barbara Kruger’s reputation stems from her use of blunt slogans over black-and-white photographs that she finds in magazines, cultivating a visual language that’s heavily inspired by her formative years spent as a graphic designer at such magazines as House and Garden, Mademoiselle, and Aperture. Some of her most famous works include “I shop, therefore I am” (1987), “Your body is a battleground” (1985), and “Don’t make me angry” (1999). Kruger’s work borrows from feminism to critique consumerism and desire, and has been featured on countless public spaces, like billboards, bus cards, posters, public parks, train station platforms, and more. Other works of hers include site-specific installations made up of video, film, audio, and projection.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036