In my opinion, the Jenny Holzer exhibition was made to at times strike discomfort in those that viewed it, while also displaying messages that the public can relate to. In her opening room, she managed to represent the post-truth era that we now live in, as the excessive writing over the walls overwhelmed me, and only at closer inspection could I begin to relate to it. Through this, Holzer represents how we are exposed to an overload of information from social media and the internet, which we only observe superficially. When having a closer look at the text, you can see that Holzer’s intention is to tell her own truth, while criticising our society and the government.
“ In her opening room, she managed to represent the post-truth era that we now live in, as the excessive writing over the walls overwhelmed me, and only at closer inspection could I begin to relate to it.”
Throughout her exhibition, Jenny uses words in various mediums; her art is functional – I was able to sit on the benches that were part of the exhibition in order to view the text going across the LED lights, and also touch the plaques on the wall. This not only made it more relatable, but it also puts the artist and gallery visitor on the same level, showing that Holzer created her art for all people, and not to show off or put herself on a pedestal. This idea is further reinforced as I was able to take pictures of the exhibition, which made me feel included, conveying that the art was for everyone and wasn’t some private viewing for a selected few. Holzer also touched on the issue of war, violence and conflict through her pictures of the blown-up maps. The message of this room was similar to her previous exhibition at Blenheim Palace that I visited last December, which focused on the topic of war and conflict and, like these maps, showed the trauma soldiers suffer during and after war. Seeing both exhibitions for me emphasised the terrors of war and its demoralising nature; they also highlighted Holzer’s view that the government shouldn’t hide its horrific actions in war, but we should know about them, breaking down the hierarchy between society and the State. Overall, Jenny Holzer’s exhibition was really eye opening. Despite being overwhelming due to the number of political and social issues that it projected, it emphasised the problems of our world, and showed that if we don’t change our ways, and aren’t willing and open to fight for these changes, everything will remain as it is, and the world may become a dangerous place to live in.