Hakim, 16

When I first thought about a trip to The Tate, I thought that I would see acrylic paint on canvas. I was clearly wrong from the moment I stepped into the Jenny Holzer exhibition, as I could see several 100 words all over the walls. This made me think that her work would be so much more than I initially expected. For me her art was trying to embed the idea that the things that are said to be correct and true, are not always the answer. I thought that that was a really deep thing to express, especially considering the UK’s economic climate and how it is hard for people to trust the government and the media. While walking throughout the exhibition I found that I developed a better understanding of what I thought Holzer’s thought process was. I felt that the multiple rooms were symbolic of the different parts of her mind; this is relatable to the average person – we all have different ‘rooms’ in our mind for each emotion and feeling we have.

My favourite room was the central one; it had several pieces of art that were calming and made me forget about society’s current stresses and focus more on the mysteries Holzer wanted every person to unlock. The main piece of art that caught my attention were the benches that I first believed were made by the Tate Modern but was surprised and shocked to learn that they were made by Holzer, as part of the exhibition. In my opinion, the other, smaller rooms which had less space for people to walk in purposely symbolised how we are not always able to access those more challenging emotions in our heads that we are not used to feeling. Each room made me feel different; in one I felt upset because of its relation to war. Overall, I enjoyed the exhibition because it challenged my thoughts and focused on society’s past and present problems. In addition, each room allowed me to feel a mixture of sadness, compassion and confusion – emotions that I am not used to feeling, but through Holzer’s art, I was able to do so.