Who Are We? What Are We? Where Did We Come From? A project by Rita Ackermann
September 23 – 1994
For the Museum’s Window on Broadway, Rita Ackermann creates a faux stained-glass window of a post-apocalyptic paradise inhabited by animals and adolescent girls. A twenty-six year old artist born in Hungary and now living in New York City, Ackermann typically combines classical sources and allegorical schemes with a brazenly popular kitsch painting style. In Who Are We? Where Did We Come From?, Ackermann borrows from, among others, Paul Gaugin’s 1897 Tahitian tableau, creating a landscape where doe eyed young girls pursue earthly pleasures and spiritual transcendence through drugs, music, and technology. In this futuristic Arcadia, computers and headphones are part of the garden scene. This is an allegory for and about youth culture, a vision of the future filled with sadness but also hope imagined by a child-spirit of the late 20th century.