Washington D.C., June 17, 2004
- Noted modern artist Jenny Holzer, whose signature "xenon"
film projectors have cast monumental
light images of texts and truisms on the sides of
buildings and landscapes from Florence to Buenos Aires, features
the National Security Archive's declassified documents in her
latest exhibition, which opened on June 11 in Bregenz, Austria,
through September 5.
Holzer's texts for the Bregenz show, titled "Truth
Before Power," include more than 30 former secrets
obtained by the National Security Archive through the Freedom
of Information Act (primarily on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle
East, especially Iraq), as well as an
essay by the Archive's director, Thomas Blanton,
titled "The World's Right to Know," from the July/August
2002 issue of Foreign Policy.
The texts appear in a series of projections, from
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. each night between June 11 and June 18, onto
such surfaces as the façade of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the
Rhomberg rock quarry, the Vermunt reservoir dam, and the "West
Side Story" floating stage on Lake Constance. In addition,
the top three floors of the Kunsthaus feature Holzer's electronic
sign arrays as they stream extracts of the texts.
"Jenny Holzer does for the digital age what
a nail and broadsheet used to do, for example when Martin Luther
pounded his theses onto the church door," commented Thomas
Blanton, the Archive's director. "She turns every surface
into a page, she illuminates not only texts but perception, and
by projecting these secrets into the night she transforms the
words of power into transitory bolts of lightning."