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Jenny Holzer, Selections from the Living Series (1989)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"For The Living Series I [used] a moderate, average voice and language because I thought that would match the subject, which was everyday events that just happened to have some kind of kink to them. The writing described these events and then offered some sociopolitical observations or absurdities."--Jenny Holzer

Artist Jenny Holzer has been using words in her art since the mid-1970s. For the work Selections from the Living Series, she engraved a different message on each of the twenty-eight white granite benches. The provocative messages are often contradictory and do not necessarily reflect the artist's own opinion. Holzer's installation offers visitors a place to rest as they think about what they have read and the role that language plays in contemporary society. The benches are arranged in a square, allowing this part of the Garden to be used for performances or other events. These benches are just one way Holzer has presented her words in public spaces. She has also made posters and stickers, and has used electronic sign boards and the Internet to display her text-based artworks.
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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Jenny Holzer, Selections from the Living Series (1989), from the curriculum guide The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A Garden for All Seasons, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1998.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009