Holzer Inflammatory Essays

Holzer Inflammatory Essays-77
Holzer originally pasted them in the streets of Manhattan, selecting each location according to the nature of each specific message.

Alden Projects on the Lower East Side has responded to the election of Donald J.

Trump by presenting Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays, along with Truisms, her series of posters from the same period, more than 100 items in all, in a show called REJOICE!

Jenny Holzer is a Conceptual artist best known for her text-based public art projects.

Holzer's work speaks of violence, oppression, sexuality, feminism, power, war and death.

OUR TIMES ARE INTOLERABLE: Jenny Holzer’s Street Posters, 1977-82.

The title is taken from the first line of one of the Essays, which continues: The clarion call sounded by this passage seems more of an echo from the Vietnam War than an indictment of the abject Carter years, but with each succeeding Republican administration — Reagan, Bush I, Bush II — Holzer’s declarations of outrage have taken on a new dimension.

Throughout the years, Holzer has employed a variety of media, from a T-shirt to a plaque to an LED sign.

Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, she uses her art as a form of communication and commentary.

IT WILL BE DEMONSTRATED THAT NOTHING IS SAFE, SACRED OR SANE. What should give us pause is not what Holzer says in these texts but what these texts say about us — the harrowing wages of repression and ignorance, the hollow gains of superiority and arrogance, the ubiquity of willful blindness and the thunder-flash of blind rage.

Holzer invokes in these works the lurid madness of biblical prophets from Isaiah to John the Evangelist, pouring out her own incantations, not via divine inspiration, but through a ruthless criticism of everything existing (to invoke Karl Marx).


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