Barbara Kruger uses the language of publicity to draw attention to the manipulative power of advertising. Her trademark subversive tactics are played out in ‘Untitled (Tube Map)’, where the familiar imagery of the map is used to relate her own feelings about London, a city she loves and knows well.
Passengers will be able to pick up Kruger’s map for free at Underground stations from 21 May 2010. The image shows a section of the Tube map in which the station names have been replaced by words that relate to Kruger’s experience of that part of London. Taking the very familiar visual language of the map, she keeps the main image intact but changes the words – still in the classic New Johnston Font – and liberates them from their daily function. St James’s Park is momentarily renamed ‘Fame’, Westminster station becomes ‘Reason’ and Victoria station as ‘Pride’ completes a humorous triangle/set of three.
Kruger’s is the twelfth Pocket Tube Map design to be commissioned by Art on the Underground. Other artists in the series include Jeremy Deller, Richard Long, David Shrigley and Mark Wallinger. The maps are becoming recognised as collectors’ items as the portfolio grows. Available for free from stations across the network, the map has one of the largest print runs for any organisation in Europe, with over five million printed per design and almost 15 million per year.
Although the motivation for a new map is driven by a practical issue, such as a station addition or change, the map covers also tend to communicate something about that moment in time in London, or on the network.
Art on the Underground Curator Sally Shaw says ‘We are excited and privileged to be working with Barbara Kruger on this project. Untitled (Tube Map) presents a subtly humorous and human interpretation of life in the city, navigated via the Tube. I am looking forward very much to hearing what our customers think about Barbara’s work and the others in the series via our website.’
COMPETITION – THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
Art on the Underground has now commissioned 12 Tube map covers. We asked you to vote for your favourite for a chance to win a numbered limited edition print showing all 12 Tube map covers. Thank you for all your fantastic responses and comments, a selection of which will be published on this site.
The 12 winners have been randomly selected. Congratulations to Araiz Goitia Goyenechea, Holly Poncini, Anne Cheng, Jennifer Smith, Ann Fenech, Robert Chan, Sian Heard, Wendy Law, Dan Crane, Ana Rose Sharkey, Andrew Griffiths, and Mark Clingman.