new-york

Jenny Holzer

Dia Center for the Arts

At one point, quite unexpectedly, all the LED signs of Jenny Holzer’s installation go dark and the silence becomes palpable, as the darkness grows thick around the viewer. The signs are vertical and the lettering flows upward and explodes like electronic fireworks until the sudden shutdown. This is a work about death and dead time, time made dead by the pause that inevitably occurs in media signals. Holzer no longer works in the mode of comment and critique of the media: she has thoroughly absorbed her chosen media’s forms, its structure, its messages, its spatial deployment. She has managed to digest mediated desire and to spit out the gob of human emotion that sticks at the back of her throat. The frustrating obliqueness of her earlier pieces is completely absent here. Her current language has an edge that was missing from the teasing, spacey messages of her Times Square project. Holzer

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