It’s so strange to look at the Travel Posters in our current state of affairs. They were made in Europe in the early 1980s … intended to conflate and confuse the visual/linguistic rhetoric of Tourism with the visual/linguistic rhetoric of Terrorism. – Barbara Bloom
Created in 1981 during the Reagan administration and presented again this year, Barbara Bloom’s Travel Posters merge the visual language of bureaucratic tourism posters (neutral fonts, pleasant colors, and simple design) with indeterminate text and banal images of the Middle East. The pieces suggest the hope of travel (“Unlimited Miles”) though a second reading alludes to the threat of terrorism and the vague menace connected to the Middle East in popular culture, then and now. Since her early work in the 1970s, conceptual artist Bloom has grappled with the gap between objects, images, and text, often based on the histories of institutions like museums, universities, and governments.