Continue playing

(Time remaining: )

Play from beginning

Play from beginning

Continue playing "{{ controller.videos[controller.getVideo(controller.currentVideo)].segmentParentTitle}}"

{{controller.videos[controller.getVideo(controller.currentVideo)].title}} has ended.

{{ currentTime | date:'HH:mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'HH:mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{ currentTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{cue.title}}
Add to WatchlistRemove from Watchlist
Add to watchlist
Remove from watchlist

Video unavailable

CollaborationJenny Holzer

October 16, 2008

“During the time of torture, the bag was on my head. After I was injured, they took me to another room and told me to say that I had fallen down and no one beat me.”
—Excerpt from Jenny Holzer’s Redaction Paintings

Jenny Holzer is best known for her innovative use of text to publicly display thought provoking anecdotes both in public spaces, via an extremely powerful projector, or within institutional settings. Holzer speaks with poet Henri Cole in her Hoosick Falls, New York studio, describing the advantages of creating collaboratively.

Redaction Paintings, a series in which Holzer creates artworks from formerly classified government documents, combines the physical qualities of abstract expressionist color blocks with the conceptual intrigue of systematic war and conquest. Holzer explores the insidiousness of these documents through her series, often enlarging them to better emphasize the readability of the text, or to more prominently address the tragic irony of the opaquely skewed portions of the archive.

More information and credits


Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Mead Hunt & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Artwork courtesy: Jenny Holzer. Thanks: Henri Cole and Cheim & Read, New York.

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

Translate this video

Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.


Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

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.

“I’ve spent a fair amount of time alone on my work, and so it’s with real joy that I go to other people to make something larger than I could have done solo.”

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer

Add to watchlist

Jenny Holzer

Add to watchlist
Add to watchlist

Read 1


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.

More on Collaboration

Add to watchlist

Nancy Spero

Add to watchlist

assume vivid astro focus