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Barbara Kruger reigns supreme at Performa

Barbara Kruger's Untitled (The Drop) pop-up shop for Performa Markus Miessen, Studio Miessen

The mystery has been revealed. Barbara Kruger’s first live performance piece Untitled (The Drop) is a wry jab at one of her long-standing targets, conspicuous consumption. Especially when it falls under the guise of the clothing and skateboard label Supreme, which uses her signature white Futura Bold text on red blocks in its branding. Well, turnabout is fair play, so Kruger has set up a storefront at the Performa festival’s Studio Miessen-designed hub on Broadway and Howard Street where visitors can buy items made by the California sportswear company Volcom—hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers—and emblazoned with the artist’s phrases like “WANT IT, BUY IT, FORGET IT”. A skateboard deck, Supreme’s speciality, admonishes “DON’T BE A JERK”, with the last word taking up most of the space. Gentle criticism when you remember Kruger once called the label “a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers”. And since everyone likes an original, visitors were lined up around the block to pick up Kruger piece, dishing out $15 for patches, $70 for a sweatshirt, or $300 for the full collection. For those looking for something at a lower price point, the MTA released a limited edition of 50,000 Kruger designed Metrocards at select subway stations around New York, another Supreme re-appropriation.