Monument – 2008 – Jenny Holzer
A LED artwork by Jenny Holzer… Like moments in the paintings, the artwork displays texts from declassified U.S. government documents stemming from the wars in the Middle East. Language that reports recent history, and speaks of power, conviction, abuse, ideals, and belief.
White red, blue, pink, and white light LEDs, metal armature, wiring, circuitry.
Her artworks feature texts that she has written, and words written by other people, including poems and declassified government documents. She uses LEDs to convey hard-hitting political messages. The sardonically titled MONUMENT (2008), a tower of semicircular LED elements that are stacked one above the other, features texts – declassified US government documents – from the ‘war on terror’.
Upon entering the gallery the viewer is confronted by semi-circular elements arranged as a ceiling-high tower. Recognized as Holzer’s signature medium, electronic signs have been part of the artist’s practice since the early eighties, and MONUMENT demonstrates Holzer’s increasing use of the medium for its sculptural capacities.
Though the artist initially turned to the LED sign for its association with news and advertising, and as a mode of direct address, she now also uses the electronic sign for its ability to manipulate space and augment architecture.