ICONS: Barbara Kruger, ‘I shop therefore I am’

Mon 1 Sep 2014

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ACCA Foyer

What’s in a word?  Plenty, or as Barbara Kruger would write later – ‘Plenty Should be Enough!’  Before that, Kruger reformulated René Descartes’ philosophical proposition of cognitive existence, ‘I think therefore I am’, into a motto for the hyper-ventilated acquisitive world of the 1980s boom time, replacing ‘think’ with ‘shop’.  This pithy critique of capitalism and its social vacuity, loaded with irony on shopping bags, T Shirts and other products of consumption travelled out into the world – a free-floating philosophical observation, and part of a parade of post modern thinking infiltrating the centre from the margins.

Juliana Engberg is a curator, writer, publisher and designer, she is the Artistic Director of ACCA and was the Artistic Director of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, 2014.

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Barbara Kruger