Serpentine and Outernet Arts continue an innovative partnership presenting a digital artwork Silent Writings by American artist Barbara Kruger that explores how we communicate and connect with each other.
In Silent Writings, 2009/2024, Barbara Kruger explores how we communicate and connect with global events and with each other. The piece weaves images and words in an attempt to engage issues of control, power and dominance. Kruger incorporates her own words alongside quotes from writers and philosophers including Aimé Césaire, Goethe, Thomas Mann and Mary Therese McCarthy. These quotes touch on themes of violence, political modes of operation and spectatorship. Kruger manipulates selected words, enlarging or removing them to highlight their meanings and create new ones. Opposing terms like contact/isolation, order/horror, stupid/clever become fluid and interchangeable.
Throughout the piece, cropped found documentary photographs of conflicts, politicians and mass media images briefly appear between sentences, serving as illustrations of the words or evidence of their relevance. As in many of her works, the artist addresses the viewers directly to make us question our beliefs, perspectives and how we perceive the world.
Curator: Natalia Grabowska
Creative Producer: Brittany Stewart
Outernet Arts Credits:
Artistic Director: Tony Tremlett
Sound Design: Father
Motion Design: Kerry Akif and Chris Shone
- Barbara Kruger
American artist Barbara Kruger (b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey, USA) is widely known for her impactful work with images and words. Drawing from an early career as a graphic designer for magazines, Kruger developed an iconic visual language that frequently borrows from the techniques and aesthetics of advertising and other media. Since the 1970s, her artworks have continually explored complex mechanisms of power, gender, class, consumerism, and capital.