Barbara Kruger, Untitled (No Comment), 2020. Three-channel video installation (color, sound; 9:25 minutes). Dimensions variable. Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté Art Acquisition Fund and Anonymous Art Acquisition Fund.
For more than forty years, Barbara Kruger has been a consistent and critical observer of contemporary culture. One of Kruger’s most recent time-based media works, Untitled (No Comment) resounds with images and themes that have come to define the artist’s practice. Over nearly ten minutes and across three channels, Kruger integrates a wide range of contemporary footage and sound to explore how the internet and social media amplify and distort age-old questions of power, value, and the ego. Edited together in a fast-paced and enthralling stream of images, texts, and sounds, the video includes polarizing political figures, advertisements, memes, scrolling text, a cat lip-synching to the melodic hook of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s hit song “Shallow,” and numerous other moving images to capture, as the video describes it, “our world in shambles.” While undoubtedly a reflection on our current moment, Kruger also integrates some of her previous works, replaying select phrases (such as “I need you to love me” and “A chilling doubt”) in new contexts and capturing the widespread transmission of her work on social media. Untitled (No Comment) thus functions as both a new artwork and a miniature survey—knitting together the enduring urgency of questions that Kruger has been posing since the 1980s through her singular artistic practice.