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Jenny Holzer - Research Paper Example

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[Author’s Name] [Class] Date “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art” Sol Lewitt Jenny Holzer Is there a difference, a distinction between a text and an image? Both the text and the image are used to express something, sometimes they express many things…
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Jenny Holzer

Download file to see previous pages... Modern viewer wants to come, to see and to grasp the idea at once. Perhaps, due to these features of our contemporary life art responds with new techniques more suitable for perceiving by contemporary people. One of these techniques is test-as-image. Long before, Jasper Johns placed familiar images and stenciled words on equal footing thus giving birth to a new direction in art. To introduce art and text I have chosen Jenny Holzer, who, among modern artists, perhaps more than anyone, has restricted contemporary art to text. For more than 30 years this conceptual artist has been creating the relationship between didactic text and image. In her works she manages to reflect the bitter realities of our everyday life so strongly and vividly that her messages are clear for everyone despite of education, level of cultural development and view of life. In the late 70s she filled the streets of Lower Manhattan with her posters contained Nietzsche-like Truisms. First this look strange and was not accepted as works of art but later it turned out that in her works Jenny Holzer acted as art world’s soothsayer. She foresees and expresses important aspects of our life, for example, her best known truism reads: “Abuse of power comes as no surprise.” Isn’t this what we can see in politics? For Jenny Holzer text means much if not everything. At first she wrote her own texts but later started using the texts written by other famous, well-known people, such as the Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, Henri Cole (USA), Elfriede Jelinek (Austria), Fadhil Al-Azawi (Iraq), Yehuda Amichai (Israel) and Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine). Why are her works getting more and more popular today? I think the reason is that they are burning. They are not aimed at satisfying out aesthetic needs, they do not please our eyes with bright colors, beautiful sceneries, and interesting faces. Holzer’s works are aimed at uncovering the realities. This is why they are full of violence, sexuality, oppression, power, war and death. At the same time they seem to have mercy upon our feelings as all these things are depicted not through the images but mostly through the text. With her works Jenny Holzer makes us think and understand the life, which surrounds us. She brings to light and shows us something that was in shade and in silence, something that was intended to be hidden. Most of jenny Holzer works impress me greatly – I adore her ability to perfectly combine text and image. She does it so precisely that you can add nothing to this – everything is already expressed by only a few words. She applies texts from different contexts governmental documents or passages from de-classified US Army documents from the war in Iraq. For instance one of her LED works presents passages “from the minutes of interrogations of American soldiers who had committed human rights violations and war crimes in Abu Ghraib” (Walleston). Thus she wants to make public what was once hidden. Depicting dark dirty aspects of her country and citizens’ life Janny seems to repent American sins before the whole world and warn Americans of possibility to fall into the fire of war, violence and hatred. In my work I would like to draw attention to the hardest political edge of Holzer’s works – “Redaction Paintings”. They are huge black-and-white silkscreens presenting the passages from de-classified governmental documents blacked out by censors. They vividly expose the secret deeds ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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