26 December 2007

Holzer at MassMoCA - On the Uses of Language in Visual Art

MassMoCA (very near where I grew up and where my parents still live part of the year) is showing an exhibition of paintings and projections by Jenny Holzer. You can read a notice (the reporter apparently was not quite up to writing a critical assessment) from The New York Times here. The paintings draw on materials (like the map above used in the military planning for our Iraq invasion) that Holzer discovered rummaging through various archives. They highlight the mercilessly violent terms of the invasion. By contrast, the projections incorporate poetry by Wisława Szymborska (a personal favorite of mine [1] [2] [3] [4] ) ~ a fruitful meeting between a conceptual artist and an equally conceptual poet. So while there is irony and humor aplenty in the verses Holzer projects, neither is present in the documents she paints.

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