Startling in its brash profanity and glistening industrial finish, Sarah Morris’s SHIT (1996) imposes itself on the wall, a stylish, sensational treatment of a primal verbal impulse. At once glamorous and humorous, SHIT, with its comic-book block lettering set against a lustrous orange, comes from a series of text paintings that utilised the lurid, attention-grabbing typography and dramatic language of advertising and newspaper campaigns; filling the space of the canvas with text and rendered in dazzling household gloss paint, the works play with the disconnect between the emotional language used by the media, and the shiny commercialism with which they present it – only rather than broadly criticising this linguistic exploitation, it self-reflexively comments on art’s own attempts to communicate value and worth to the viewer: ‘I think there’s an aspect of distraction that goes on in my work, just visually, because of the scale, because of the color, because of its elements of ricocheting communication and graphic design. I will place myself in situations in which I’m definitely not trying to be didactic in any way. I don’t view myself apart from the legal system; I don’t view myself apart from the entertainment system; I don’t view myself apart from the political system. […] I don’t start from that position of objectivity. So you are confronted with the ambivalence of being complicit in what I call “the system.”’ (S. Morris, in ‘Sarah Morris: “There is no outside”’, The Talks, December 9, 2015, http://the-talks.com/interview/sarah-morris/ [accessed Mar 23, 2017]).