Selection from Living Series (With Sophisticated Record Keeping…)
Cast bronze with black patina
8 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches (21 x 26.7 cm)
Edition of 3
Through her “Living” series, Jenny Holzer presents a set of quiet observations, directions, and warnings. The “Living” texts are written in a matter of fact, journalistic style, suitable for descriptions of everyday life. Meanwhile, the commentaries touch on how the individual and his or her body negotiates landscapes, persons, rules, expectations, desires, fears, other bodies, one’s flesh, and one’s self. Holzer presented the “Living” texts on cast bronze plaques, of the “official” sort that typically mark historical sites or commemorate important events. The plaques look nondescript, but their contents startle, veering into the intimate sphere of personal relationships, behaviors, and beliefs. “It has always been easier for me to write while imagining I am someone else,” Holzer has said. Her use of direct address also produces a shifting subject, so that to read a phrase is automatically to become the “you,” to engage with a work that transforms the act of aesthetic contemplation into one of self-reflection.