Nora Turato: govern me harder

Introduction by Ebony L. Haynes. Texts by Anna Kats and Nora Turato

The third title in the Clarion series features the Amsterdam-based artist Nora Turato and her vibrant enamel panels that magnify the omnipresence of text, design, and speech in our contemporary culture.

“Meticulous as Helen and tricky as Odysseus, the artist invites us first to misread the slick surfaces and humor of her works as effortless, then forces us to attend to the laborious practices they belie, the histories and possibilities of that effort.” —Art in America

Originally trained as a graphic designer, Nora Turato adapts text to subvert and create messages. Although many of Turato’s performances and works appear to be drafted by free association, she meticulously and thoughtfully edits them to evoke a sense of alluring confusion. In three signature murals with a bespoke typeface, Turato addresses the inundation of language, typography, and graphic design in our contemporary culture, whether in the news, on social media, or in advertisements. 

Published on the occasion of Turato’s widely popular exhibition govern me harder at 52 Walker, this publication features texts by Ebony L. Haynes and Anna Kats. Serving as an extension of the exhibition, performance scripts by the artist are also included in this publication. As described in The Brooklyn Rail, “In the slick sea of graphic smoothness and language lost from meaning, something has still been irrefutably made.”


Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Artists: Nora Turato

Contributors: Ebony L. Haynes, Anna Kats, Clarion

Designer: Andrea Hyde

Printer: VeronaLibri, Verona

Publication Date: 2023

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 6.5 × 9.25 in | 16.5 × 23.2 cm

Pages: 88

Reproductions: 25 illustrations

ISBN: 9781644230862

Retail: $35 | $47 CAN | £25

Status: Available

Nora Turato

Nora Turato was born in 1991 in Zagreb, Croatia, and presently lives and works in Amsterdam. The artist received her BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2013, and her MFA from Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, the Netherlands, in 2016.

Ebony L. Haynes

Ebony L. Haynes is a writer and curator from Toronto. She is based in New York, where she is a director at David Zwirner. Haynes is a visiting curator and critic at the Yale School of Art in the painting and printmaking class of 2021. She also runs an online “school” that offers free professional practice classes to Black students worldwide. 

Anna Kats

Anna Kats is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Kats studied Slavic Languages and Literatures, and History of Art and Architecture at Barnard College of Columbia University, where her research focused on the interwar genealogy of architectural postmodernism in the Soviet Union and postcolonial critique in East Central Europe. She is also an alumna of the Fulbright Program. Her writing has appeared in a variety of books and publications, including Artforum and Architect Magazine. In her research on both contemporary and historic architecture and art, she treats historiography as a tool for dismantling hierarchies between cosmopolitan centers and provincial peripheries. She serves as Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute in New York and as Contributing Editor at Metropolis Magazine.


The Clarion series of illustrated publications is positioned as an extension of each exhibition at the groundbreaking gallery space 52 Walker, curated by Ebony L. Haynes. The program focuses on showcasing conceptual and research-based artists from a range of backgrounds and at various stages in their careers. The series title is derived from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the oldest of its kind, at the University of California, San Diego. Octavia Butler attended this workshop in the 1970s. Butler’s writing has been influential in the conceptual framework of the program and the Clarion series. With a sleek design influenced by encyclopedias, each publication features color reproductions of the works on view, alongside an introduction by Haynes, commissioned essays, artist texts, archival materials, and more.

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