Monday, October 03, 2005

Jenny Holzer: For the City

We caught a bit of the CreativeTime project "Jenny Holzer: For The City" last night on the way to the video store (see crappy cell phone image I took at right). Even after having discussed how much I loved the concept with CreativeTime Director of External Affairs, Maureen Sullivan, while gallery hopping, I had forgotten my pledge to make my way uptown to the Rockefeller Plaza installation. Maureen explained that until Saturday, that installation had been compromised somewhat by another project on the plaza with bright lights, but Saturday evening would be a good time to catch it. (We both felt guilty for even thinking about the way the bright lighting for the Habitat for Humanity building drive had impacted Jenny's piece, but, it is a light-based installation...).

Anyway, the crowd around the NYU Boost Library installation was clearly enjoying the installation there. Most folks, like us, paused a bit while en route here or there, with many clearly unsure whether to camp out and watch a while or decide that they had "got it" and carry on. I actually liked how casually one could approach such a monumental and ultimately time-consuming installation. It was comforting in an odd way.

The text scrolling by while we were there was a bit hard to read, not only because it had been heavily redacted (the CT description explains that it's comprised of "declassified and other sensitive United States government documents"), but also because the wall of the building was irregular enough to break up the text slightly in places. Again, though, even that was oddly comforting in that it emphasized how, for me at least, that the secrets being exposed were fleeting, whereas the underlying system that permits Holzer to project those documents (seen here in pdf format)---in particular, the Freedom of Information Act---is as solid (today at least) as the rigid walls she's projecting onto. (What can I say, I'm seeing the glass as half full more lately.) Here's another hard to see image I took (see the CT website for much better ones):


Blogger Mark said...

Always wondering where Jenny Holtzer can go next with text, to keep it fresh. There you have it.

10/04/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous bambino said...

It was really amazing to stop and watch with other people text of jenny Holtzer. It was nice energy.

10/04/2005 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Wouldn't a monumental piece like this be an interesting alternative to the big-money solutions so far proposed for the WTC? A constant, changing projection of some sort - like an eternal flame, but big.

10/04/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Well, depending on what you projected (Holzer's text would certainly never get past the families-tabloids syndicate), it might be worth considering. Everyone seems to like the towers of light.

10/04/2005 07:23:00 PM  

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