Jun 032021

Barbara Kruger designed this mural, Untitled (Blind Idealism Is…) for the High Line in 2016. It is based on the quote “Blind idealism is reactionary” by Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist and political philosopher Frantz Fanon.

From the High Line website-

The original statement by Fanon, “Blind idealism is reactionary,” suggests that political and religious convictions stem from the situations from which they grow, not from the inherent nature of individual human beings. According to Kruger, the work reflects “how we are to one another” within “the days and nights that construct us.” These texts, along with Kruger’s own writings, resonate with particular potency in today’s political climate.

For more on this work at the time it was made, check out this interview with Kruger by The Intelligencer at New York Magazine.

Jul 032015

Diller + Scofidio- Soft Sell

Walking by a small room on the third floor of the Hammer Building at LACMA, you may hear the voice from this video calling out to you with a series of questions that all start off  “hey you, wanna buy…?”. The choices range from the more abstract ideas of “a second chance” or “a piece of the American dream” to the more practical, like “a set of encyclopedias with a four color atlas”, to the more ominous options of “a judge” or “the mayor’s ear”.

The video was created by the team of Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio working together as Diller+Scofidio.  Soft Sell was originally displayed in the windows of an abandoned porno theater on 42nd Street in NYC in 1993 and is currently part of LACMA’s photo exhibition titled Lens Work: Celebrating LACMA’s Experimental Photography at 50.

Diller and Scofidio added Charles Renfro as partner in 2004 to form Diller Scofidio + Renfro,“an interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the visual arts, and the performing arts”. They have designed many high profile projects including the first mile of the High Line in NYC, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Broad Museum, soon to be opened in Los Angeles.

More info:

This 2007 article from the New Yorker about Diller Scofidio + Renfro offers an interesting portrait of the group- http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/05/14/the-illusionists