Untitled (You substantiate our horror)


Photograph and type on paper

24.5 x 19 cm (9 5/8 x 7 1/2 in.)

The dramatic features of a woman stand out in close-up. She covers her eyes as if to avoid seeing the disaster suggested by a flaming background. Two registers of text spread out across this pathetic portrait. Together they spell out, "you substantiate our horror", the last word stressed by its size and layout.

Since 1979, Barbara Kruger has made unique photographic works based on images found mainly in films, archives or advertising, reproducing them to affix morally judgmental ironic maxims, as in this example. Presented as appealing posters with carefully created black-and-white contrasts and punchy slogans, her works offer a biting critique of contemporary society.

Untitled (You Substantiate Our Horror) was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the exhibition "Mapping the Studio" (2009-2011) at the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in Venice.