Jenny Holzer


Text, 16 x 155 x 10.1 cm.
Materials: metal, electronic components, plexiglass, transformer

Collection: Collection VAM, Eindhoven (Inv. no. 1164).

'Truisms' (1983) is composed of short statements – ‘truths’ that are both revelatory and banal, designed to run on LED-displays in places like Times Square in New York or Piccadilly Circus in London. It is a collection of a few hundred sentences: statements of political, social, philosophical or moralistic nature. Sometimes they are “open doors”, giving us an opening to reflection. A few examples are: HUMOR IS A RELEASE, ANY SURPLUS IS IMMORAL and MORALS ARE FOR LITTLE PEOPLE. The statements are not Holzer’s personal opinions. When the artist, in 1977, participated in a study programme in New York, she realized how the content of the books she had to read was important and meaningful but at the same time not easily accessible. Therefore she wanted to translate them into a simple, straightforward language.

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