The very public Art of Jenny Holzer

Posted on May 24, 2014 by Peter Hyatt | 0 Comments

 

While working last week on our documentary of 8Chifley Square, Sydney we had the pleasure of meeting the celebrated New York artist Jenny Holzer. Her visit coincided with the formal opening of her latest art installation. Holzer's work at 8Chifley is every bit as impressive as we would expect. A series of letters form into words that become stories about Australian Aboriginal dreaming and legend. Taken from the work of 80 indigenous and non-Aboriginal authors, the stories spool up one of the building's muscular columns much like an electronic tattoo. 

The effect on this busy north-west corner of this striking new tower really energizes its street level connection. The text glides up all four sides of the boxed steel column on the diagonal before disappearing into the roof soffit. 

Holzer's art of language and story telling is especially effective told on the diagonal. It simply isn't how we typically read or  absorb information. Usually it's on the horizontal, sometimes the vertical, but here the story-telling becomes a tour de force that few passers-by can ignore. Curiously it has taken an outsider to propose and create such an artwork to raise the consciousness of Australian Aboriginal history and legacy. I photographed Holzer relaxing in front of her work two days before its official unveiling.

 

Posted in 8Chifley Square, Jenny Holzer, Public art


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