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25 Jul 2018

Jenny Holzer: Truisms and Inflammatory Essays

Benjamin Ogilvy Projects, Pictures Efface Walls

Reviewed by Heather Kapplow

Jenny Holzer's "Truisms and Inflammatory Essays" are a psychic relief after seeing her recent work at MassMoCA. Despite the flash of strong words, and the arts-negative political climate of the Reagan years, these pieces feel like mirrors reflecting far less complex times into an infinitely twisted present where language can do more damage than it ever could before.

Ogilvy's earnest collecting, the brightest-of-white walls, and this moment in history make the gallery feel like a shrine to another age, one where the combination of wheatpaste-based action and sharp-brained, sharp-tongued women might alter the fabric of reality, keeping it from becoming what it is now. "REJOICE!" Holzer encourages, sometime between 1979 and 1982, "OUR TIMES ARE INTOLERABLE."

In addition to the pleasure of the human scale of her early work, there is the delight of catching a phrase that rings so differently now in the #MeToo era than it could have at any other time: "WOMEN LOVE POWER."

Exhibition Jenny Holzer: Truisms and Inflammatory Essays link
Start date 14 Jul 2018
End date 18 Aug 2018
Presenter Benjamin Ogilvy Projects link
Venue Pictures Efface Walls, 438 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA, USA link map
Image Installation view, Jenny Holzer: Truisms and Inflammatory Essays, courtesy of Benjamin Ogilvy Projects

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