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Untitled (We are your circumstantial evidence)

Barbara Kruger, American, born 1945

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
1983

Medium:
Gelatin silver prints (three)

Dimensions:
Framed (a): 49 x 97 x 2 inches (124.5 x 246.4 x 5.1 cm) Framed (b): 49 x 97 x 2 inches (124.5 x 246.4 x 5.1 cm) Framed (c): 49 x 97 x 2 inches (124.5 x 246.4 x 5.1 cm)

Copyright:
© Barbara Kruger Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1985-36-1a--c

Credit Line:
Gift of Henry S. McNeil, Jr., 1985

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Label:
Kruger is one of several artists who turned to advertising and pop culture as sources for her art in the 1970s. Printed at billboard scale and framed in bright red, the phrase “We are your circumstantial evidence” seems at first glance to be a strident declaration. However, the image and text do not match up in any obvious way, making their relationship unclear. Moreover, the words “we” and “your” allow the viewer to assume either position in relation to the sentence, which might refer to power relations between two groups (for instance, women and men) or to the ways in which photographs have been used as evidence of supposed truths.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Beginning in the 1970s Barbara Kruger, like other important artists of her generation, turned to advertising and pop culture as sources for her pictures. Printed at billboard scale and framed in bright red, the phrase “We are your circumstantial evidence” initially seems to be a strident declaration. However, the text and the image—a shattered mirror reflecting a woman’s face and studio lights—do not correspond to each other in any obvious way. Moreover, the shifting pronouns “we” and “your” leave the viewer’s position uncertain, as the sentence might refer to power relations between two groups (for instance, women and men), or to the use of photographs as evidence of supposed truths. Peter Barberie, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, pp. 380–381.

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