FOR EVERY ACTION: “Untitled (I shop therefore I am)” artist Barbara Kruger will have a new message for passersby on The High Line. The American, who divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, has created “Untitled (Blind Idealism Is…), 2016,” which will be unveiled March 21. The large-scale mural will be hand-painted by a professional sign company on the exterior wall of a building overlooking The High Line at West 22nd Street.
Building on her unabashed criticism of culture and power, the mural will feature the slogan, “Blind Idealism is Reactionary Scary Deadly,” an adaptation of a quote from Afro-Caribbean philosopher Frantz Fanon, which has appeared in multiple works by the artist. His original statement, “Blind idealism is reactionary,” implies that political and religious convictions stem from the situations from which they grow, not from the inherent nature of individual human beings. From Kruger’s view, the work reflects “how we are to one another” within “the days and nights that construct us.”
Strollers along the elevated park and people on the street below will have a bird’s-eye view of the piece. Kruger blends photographs and words, borrowing from her early days as a graphic designer at Mademoiselle, House & Garden and Aperture. In the past three decades she has also done immersive video installations, room-wrapped textual exhibitions and large-scale outdoor installations.
The location has been used for works by Kerry James Marshall last year and Ed Ruscha in 2014. Kruger’s commission will be on view from March 21 to March 2017. Presented by Friends of the High Line, High Line Art started commissioning and producing public art projects on and around the walkway in 2009.