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Text Projections by Jenny Holzer

A photo of a poem projected onto a body of waterArno, projection

Jenny Holzer is an important figure in modern art, specifically in the area of text art. Most of Holzer’s work is very conceptual in nature, and rather than presenting her audience with an image to think about, she presents them with a phrase that may be somehow referential, or philosophical, prompting the viewer to think critically and try to unravel its meaning.


My favourite iteration of Holzer’s work are her projections – shown in various cities across the world, Holzer create s projections of phrases in large, capital block letters, to be splashed across buildings at night. The brightness and size of these projections creates bombastic, almost intrusive works that cannot be overlooked.


A photo of a projection of text onto a building"The Terrorist, He's Watching," projection

While Holzer’s works are often aimed at serious topics, she injects each work with a measure of poetry and humour that makes viewers want to read them and turn them over in their heads, rather than shying away.  The public nature of much of this work, as well as the different buildings they are projected onto, help add another contextual dimension.


A photo of a projection of text"So Little", projection

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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