Sunday, May 21, 2023

Jenny Holzer | Laments

Jenny Holzer
New York City, USA: Dia Art Foundation, 1989
VHS tape housed in a plastic clamshell box.
Edition size unknown

Often packaged with the book of the same name (see below), this video documents Holzer's installation at DIA in March of 1989, in which thirteen texts were engraved into a continuous row of stone sarcophagi that recounted what Holzer identified as “voices of the dead.” These lamentations expressed the "before death" thoughts of an infant, two children, and ten adults. LED lights affixed to columns within the space echoed these meditations, constructing an architectural installation of spotlight tombs and didactic pillars.

“This videotape is based on the installation by Jenny Holzer of thirteen stone sarcophagi and thirteen vertical LED (light emitting diode) signboards at the Dia Art Foundation.”
- VHS label

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