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Iconic New York Artist Jenny Holzer Is Bringing Giant, Building-Sized Text Projections to Rising

Thought-provoking work, I Conjure, will feature hundreds of Holzer's own words alongside voices from local female talent.
By Libby Curran
May 18, 2021
By Libby Curran
May 18, 2021

Less than a couple of weeks out from the anticipated grand debut of arts and culture festival Rising, organisers have announced another multi-faceted, large-scale piece set to join the packed program. I Conjure delivers a thought-provoking work by celebrated New York-based artist Jenny Holzer, in the form of soaring six-storey tall projections splashed across the historic facade of Melbourne's Queen Victoria Women's Centre.

Across each night of the festival, from May 26–June 6, the text-based work will present a curation of statements plucked from Holzer's Truisms series, along with a few new works. All will be emblazoned proudly on the 19th-century building.

In line with the award-winning artist's anonymous street posters, which first appeared in the late 1970s, I Conjure's proclamations are witty plays on commonly held truths and recognisable cliches. Numbering close to 300, the various texts offer thoughts on creativity, art and activism. The project's lineup also includes words from renowned artists like Tracey Moffatt, Agnes Martin, Grace Hartigan and Nikki Lam.

Jenny Holzer's work You Vote 2020 (Detroit, Michigan) © Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Mark Rutherford.

A pioneer of text-based public art, Holzer's powerful messages have graced everything from baseball caps to giant LED sculptures over her decade-long art career. In recent years, the artist's statements have appeared on the likes of Switzerland's Gstaad Palace ("Hiding your motives is despicable"), New York City's Rockefeller Centre ("I feel pain with each step I take but to feel pain is better than to not feel pain at all, so above all things I am grateful") and the Wawel Royal Castle in Poland ("And now I don't know what in all that was real").

Catch I Conjure at the Queen Victoria Women's Centre, 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, nightly from May 26–June 6. For more details, check out the Rising website.cp-line

Top images: Jenny Holzer's work A Little Knowledge Can Go A Long Way 2019 (Gstaad, Switzerland) © Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Stefan Altenburger.

Published on May 18, 2021 by Libby Curran


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