Belief + Doubt

Barbara Kruger’s Belief + Doubt, a long-term exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., explores the themes of power, faith, consumerism, and desire through large-scale textual adages. Vinyl sheeting printed in Kruger’s characteristic red, black, and white hues boldly display open-ended axioms, prompting viewers to internalize, question, and dispute deceivingly simple phrases. Belief + Doubt represents a site-specific work, not only through the vinyl sheeting that climbs and envelops the building’s architecture, but also through the strategic placement of the exhibit within the Hirshhorn gift shop and, more broadly, within the Nation’s capital. Kruger’s work reinterprets the role of the museum in modern society, directly addressing and involving the spectator in an environment traditionally reserved for passive observation.