Barbara Kruger

Kruger's lifetime achievement award a little less luminous

Disappointment taints her upcoming Golden Lion award

Barbara Kruger was reportedly more than a little nonplussed when informed that she was to be awarded this year’s Golden Lion for lifetime achievement since her dealings with the 2005 Biennale are rumoured to have been somewhat inauspicious. She was reportedly disappointed that her opus, which transformed the façade of the Italian pavilion with the words “POWER” and “MONEY” along with the dual texts “PRETEND THINGS ARE GOING AS PLANNED/GOD IS ON MY SIDE HE TOLD ME SO”, were in low-tech paper rather than the plasma screens she intended; it also seems somewhat peculiar that her images of President Bush that accompanied her text works were positioned so high up and to the side of the pavilion façade that most visitors missed them completely. The ever modest Kruger provided her own explanation for the Biennale’s plaudit: “I don’t know why I’ve won the Golden Lion; maybe it’s because I look like one”, she said.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Not so luminous Kruger'

Appeared in Art Basel in Basel, June 2005