Monel, 17

After visiting Holzer’s Artist rooms, I can safely say that I have been able to find a newfound appreciation for modern art. Holzer, like many modern artists, has taken a vastly different approach to art; drifting away from the art styles seen from the periods of renaissance and enlightenment, she settles for a more brutal and monstrous style. This art style is possibly influenced by the likes of Pablo Picasso and other protest artists present during the 20th century, who were once able to see the atrocities that both world wars and several international conflicts have had on the global community. Though, the way Holzer stands out is through her use of several mediums. Through her use of those untraditional mediums, Holzer is able to create a sense that her artwork is both functional and symbolic. The theme of the abstract vs pragmatism is present in her work. The abstractness causes the viewer to contemplate her work and uncover her ideas. The pragmatism comes in as her artwork is also functional, able to be accessed by anyone and not just stowed away behind a protective measure. Holzer lets her viewers know that her artwork is not some abstract idea, only to be fully understood in the deep corners of her subconscious, but that these ideas are set in the physical world. By not separating her artwork from the viewer behind a physical barrier, she reinforces the idea that the artist should not be any different to any other individual of the public, that there should be no difference between the status of artists and those observing the artwork, presenting quite a Marxist-socialist leaning.

“ Through her use of those untraditional mediums, Holzer is able to create a sense that her artwork is both functional and symbolic.”

Yet, she is also able to simultaneously promote the idea of individualism. Whilst I feel that Holzer and I may differ ideologically, I was still able to enjoy her art. Much of this was due to my favourite part of the exhibition: the first room, with its overwhelming amount of statements written on the walls. I found myself relating to this particular statement: “Morals are for little people”- not due to its dogmatic style, but due to the writings’ purpose. I came to the conclusion that the statements were Holzer’s “subjective truths”. There are two types of truths, objective truths, undisputed facts present in the physical universe, and subjective truths, those which are present within each individuals mind, which are true to that individual. Subjective truths are values and beliefs held by each individual, which have helped to build their characters to what they are today. This piece helped me uncover some of my own subjective truths. I think Holzer may also be flirting with the idea of a post-truth society; one in which information is easily distorted, leading to the discrediting of the mainstream media with its involvement in fake news.