Jenny Holzer is an American neo-conceptual artist best known for her text-based works, which convey words and ideas in public spaces across an array of media, including electronic and LED signs, carved stone, billboards, and printed materials. Her oeuvre is deliberately challenging the viewers, often by presenting a spectrum of contradictory opinions to stimulate public debate. Whether questioning consumerism, describing torture, shedding light on social and political injustices, or lamenting death and disease, her use of language is designed to unsettle and disturb.
The present work belongs to Holzer´s Truisms series, her very first public works -and still among the most famous. Since the late 1970s, when she began this series, multitudes of people have seen them, read them, laughed at them, and been provoked by them -that is precisely the artist’s goal. These works have become part of the public domain, displayed in storefronts, on outdoor walls and billboards, and in digital displays in museums, galleries, or other public places, such as Times Square in New York.
Using mass media to exhibit her work and placing them where everyday advertising is expected creates a new, large audience for her work: the general public who would not, otherwise, be exposed to contemporary art. Holzer´s hope was that, thanks to their prominent and public location, her Truisms would make people more aware of the “usual baloney they are fed” in daily life.
“I used language because I wanted to offer content that people—not necessarily art people—could understand.„