Syracuse University

SU News

Light Work, UVP announce installation by Jenny Holzer

November 29, 2010

Jessica H. Reed

Light Work and the Urban Video Project (UVP) have announced the opening of an installation by internationally renowned artist Jenny Holzer at the Urban Video Project site at Syracuse Stage. Holzer created “For Syracuse” as a site-specific installation that streams across the façade of Syracuse Stage on an LED curtain. The installation will run Dec. 1, 2010–May 30, 2011, from 5:30–11 p.m. daily.

The installation features 272 aphorisms from her celebrated series “Truisms” and “Survival” that challenge viewers’ assumptions about the world we live in through the use of language as art. Whether questioning consumerist impulses or lamenting the struggles of daily living, Holzer always provokes a response. Her work crosses the boundary between poetry and visual art, and suggests both the limitations and power of technology and the information age.

For more than 30 years, this influential American conceptual artist has been creating subversive works that blend in among advertisements in public spaces, questioning and confronting our passive consumption of information. Since the early 1970s, Holzer has been collecting and writing phrases and aphorisms found in literature, philosophy and contemporary culture. She calls these summaries her “Truisms,” and has printed them on bronze plaques, painted signs, stone benches, footstools, stickers, T-shirts, condoms, paintings, photographs, video, sound, light projection and the Internet. In 1982, Holzer installed “Truisms” on one of Time Square’s gigantic LED billboards. In the 1980s, for her “Survival” series, Holzer adopted more personal and urgent messages about the realities of everyday living. Power, vulnerability, violence, tenderness, moral struggles and motherhood are courageously chronicled in this series, which continuously prods the viewer to question the role of individuals in society.

Holzer received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Athens; a M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; and honorary doctorates from the University of Ohio, the Rhode Island School of Design, and New School University, New York. She has received many awards, including the Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale; the Skowhegan Medal; and the Diploma of Chevalier from the French government. Major exhibitions include the Neue National Galerie, Berlin; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Dia Art Foundation, New York; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Since 1996, Holzer has organized public light projections in cities worldwide. She was the first woman to represent the United States in the Venice Biennale. Holzer lives and works in Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

Recent News