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Art now: the medium is the message

These 6 global exhibitions explore the power of art, fashion and design.

The Museum of Contemporary art Los Angeles (MOCA) has reinstalled the monumental wall work by Los Angeles–based artist Barbara Kruger (b. New York 1945), Untitled (Questions) (1990/2018). The emblematic red, white, and blue artwork was originally commissioned by MOCA in 1989 for the exhibition 'A Forest of Signs: Art in the Crisis of Representation', and was last installed in 1990 on the south wall of MOCA’s building (now The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA). The work holds an iconic place in the collective memory of Los Angeles’s art community and is considered one of the museum’s curatorial highlights over its forty-year history. This iteration is installed on the north facade of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, facing Temple Street and measuring 30 by 191 feet. Asking nine questions including “Who is beyond the law?,” “Who is bought and sold?,” and “Who is free to choose?,” the work points to issues of patriotism, civic engagement, and power relations. In connection with the work, MOCA led a series of voter registration efforts during the 2018 midterms, and will continue these efforts in advance of the 2020 general election. moca.org

This month’s selection of current and fourthcoming global exhibitions features art works that ask viewers to consider difficult questions about the relationship between style and substance and form and function. Indeed, all art highlights these relationships, but in some ways these exhibitions offer canvases for tough questions about the freedom of speech, representations of gender and sexuality, modernism, design, social and political policies, architecture and photography. Specifically, they ask us to consider how the codification of cultural moments and artifacts expresses how we we want our public conversations about them – and who we are as individuals, nations and cultures – to unfold.  – Joanne Molina

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