Barbara Kruger

"Your body is a battleground" (1989), Photographic silkscreen on vinyl

         Barbara Kruger’s piece titled, “Your body is a battleground”, expresses a lot of emotion by simply saying that single statement. When I first saw this piece I took the message as we as women are constantly fighting ourselves. Fighting personal battles that no one else but us can understand. Most commonly when a woman has been abused in some way she tends to keep it to herself. They feel inferior to others, and as if their body has been “invaded”, breaking that wall of trust, comfort, and confidence.

         I not only think that this statement refers to your personal battles with your body, but fighting off others. When violence occurs against you, you’re fighting against the attacker to protect your body. Being that not every human being is exactly “meant” to fight, there are those that have to fight harder, or sadly, lose the battle.

         Along the lines of harassment towards women, there doesn’t necessarily have to be physical contact to consider that someone is harassing you. For example, in today’s society advertising has increasingly influenced the idea that women are “sex symbols”, that our bodies are something that can be used, or walked on. The harassment can be as simple as a sentence said towards someone, and with the help of advertising, it puts the idea in viewer’s heads that they can say inapropriate things towards women. The idea of it being walked on to me comes from the word “ battleground” in her piece. When I hear that word, with the idea of violence in my head, I think of the actual body being walked on. As if it were to represent the idea of being physically abused. Given the message of “ Your body is a battleground” the connection it makes with violence against women goes a little deeper than what is on the surface of the piece.

          Barbara Kruger states, “I think what I’m trying to do is create moments of recognition. To try to detonate some kind of feeling or understanding of lived experience”( I think this statement “hits the nail on the head” when it comes to trying to understand her work. Especially with this piece, it helps with understanding the idea of violence against women. No one can understand what the victims have gone through, and/or live through. With the help of her art, along with several other artists, it sends the message for those that can’t speak for themselves, and those that aren’t capable.



( To view Curatorial Statement return to “Home” page.)


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