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Jenny Holzer in "Protest"

Jenny Holzer discusses the concepts behind some of her most well-known projects, including For 7 World Trade (2006), for which she projected text onto a glass wall of the lobby. Much of Holzer’s work focuses on devastation and cruelty, and uses the words of others.

“I stopped writing my own text in 2001,” she explains. “I found that I couldn’t say enough adequately and so it was with great pleasure that I went to the text of others.” Viewers observe Holzer creating new work as she prepares an exhibition of paintings and prints of declassified, redacted government documents, some of which are letter-size, while others are blown-up to an overwhelming scale “…in hopes that people will recoil,” she says.

More information and credits


Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Production Manager: Alice Bertoni & Nick Ravich. Production Coordinator: Amanda Donnan & Meredith Klein. Consulting Director: Charles Atlas. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Director of Photography: Christine Burrill, Bob Elfstrom, Mead Hunt, & Joel Shapiro. Additional Photography: David Howe & Nick Ravich. Sound: Tom Bergin, Ray Day, Mark Mandler, Roger Phenix, Yuri Raicin, & Merce Williams. Audio Technician: Peter Holcomb. Assistant Camera: Sean Brown, Craig Feldman, Brian Hwang, Michael Pruitt-Bruun, & Amy Lane Tucker. Production Assistant: Sebastián Dib Ruiz. Makeup: Kim Baker. Additional Animation: Ben Baudhuin, Shawn Dunbar, & Joaquin Perez.

Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Direction & Design: Open, New York. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voice-Over Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins & Greg Smith. Sound Mix: Cory Melious & Tony Volante. Animation Stand: Frank Ferrigno. Assistant Editor: Ahmed Amer, Jennifer Chiurco, & George Panos.

Artworks Courtesy of: © 2007 Jenny Holzer, member Artist Rights Society (ARS), NY; Alfredo Jaar; An-My Lê; Nancy Spero; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Cheim & Read, New York; Galerie Lelong, New York; & Murray Guy, New York.

Special Thanks: Erick Anderson; The Art21 Board of Trustees; Vanessa Bergonzoli; Bob Robert Blanton; Brand X Editions, New York; Marc Breslin; Steven Brooks; Chris Burnside; Pat Casteel; Henri Cole; Dog Bark Sound; Elena Exposito; Christopher Fedorak; Frame:Runner NYC; Fundacion Telefonica Chile, Santiago; Galeríia Gabriela Mistral, Santiago; Mike Glier; Mary Beth Gregg; Janice Guy; Deborah Herring; Stephanie Joson; Meredith Klein; Samm Kunce; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton; Mindy McDaniel; Capt. Beverly Miramontes; Margaret Murray; John Pilson; Rebecca Shalomoff; Amy Shapiro; Silverstein Properties; Margarita Silva Donoso; Irene Sosa; Sound Lounge; Joonyoung Suk; Tilcon New York; Joe Tompkins; Claudia Villaseca Casanueva; Joyce Watson; & Steve Wylie.

Director of Education & Public Programs: Tana Hargest. Education Consultant: Jessica Hamlin. Manager of Public Programs & Outreach: Kelly Shindler. Web Producer: Ana Otero. Senior Development Officer: Beth Allen. Development Associate: Sara Simonson. Development Coordinator: Erin Cesta & Katherine Payne.

Interns: Stephanie Abraitis, Alex Agnant, Gabriella della Croce, Nora Herting, Milena Hoegsberg, Rives Kitchell, Katie McCurry, Simone Otenaike, Karoline Pfeiffer, Nick Pozek, Carolina Puente, Muña Qamar, Bettina Riccio Henry, Meg Scally, Karen Seapker, Peter Sebeckis, Lucy Strong, & Kelly Williamson.

Public Relations: Goodman Media International. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman. Bookkeeper: Marea Alverio-Chaveco & Valerie Riley. Travel Agent: Lita Gottesman.

Major underwriting for Season 4 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Bloomberg, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Bagley Wright Fund, and W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Jenny Holzer

Whether questioning consumerist impulses, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, Jenny Holzer’s use of language provokes a response in the viewer. While her subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public space, its arresting content violates expectations. Holzer’s texts—such as the aphorisms “Abuse of power comes as no surprise” and “Protect me from what I want”—have appeared on posters and condoms, and as electronic LED signs and projections of xenon light.

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Jenny Holzer

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Jenny Holzer

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Collaborating with Poet Henri Cole

Artist Jenny Holzer and poet Henri Cole discuss how their collaboration began, and the ways in which their work together has evolved since.

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