Flashback to Professor Marter’s class! These are my 3 favorite installations from Jenny Holzer.
“In the late 1970’s, Jenny Holzer saw the future, and it had writing on it. Along with language-oriented artists in a range of art mediums — among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Christopher Wool — she concluded that signage was the way to go. Ms. Holzer, in particular, favored immediate communication and broad distribution, which for her came down to blunt, pungently expressed thoughts…..
…But here, her flat, insistent sound bites mostly hit home, their compactness and unexpected locations causing that particular giddiness of recognition that only words can. They change voice effortlessly, raise consciousness on various fronts and evoke specific, often horrific situations.
Ms. Holzer has never shied away from language’s terrifying conjuring powers, sometimes to the point of melodrama, as in ”Shriek When the Pain Hits During Interrogation.” Unfortunately, the world has caught up with her sense of apocalyptic foreboding and an imminent totalitarianism. Phrases like ”Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise,” ”The Beginning of the War Will Be Secret” and ”I Am Awake in the Place Where Women Die” are all freshly pertinent, if cold comfort, in times like these.”
-Roberta Smith, The New York Times