Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays

While I know that there is some socially relevant art being produced in our contemporary moment, it really appears to be slim pickings out here. I just hope that this is not a permanent trend. Although I am going through some tough times I am also working on multiple projects, and I am trying to write and make stuff that reflects our current (and quite possibly crumbling) society. I am not going to pretend that it’s easy, because it’s not. But artists are important, especially in times like these.

Tonight I revisited a brilliant series of text works by the great conceptual artist, Jenny Holzer. I won’t be able to do them justice, so I will let the work speak for itself.

Inflammatory Essays, 1979-1982 

In a statement provided by the Holzer studio, the Inflammatory Essays are described as:

“a collection of 100-word texts that were printed on colored paper and posted throughout New York City. Like any manifesto, the voice in each essay urges and espouses a strong and particular ideology. By masking the author of the essays, Holzer allows the viewer to assess ideologies divorced from the personalities that propel them. With this series, Holzer invites the reader to consider the urgent necessity of social change, the possibility for manipulation of the public, and the conditions that attend revolution.”

There are others in addition to the ten pictured here, and I highly recommend examining more of Holzer’s work.




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