New York conceptual artist Jenny Holzer has made a career out of provocative, meditative short words and phrases in public.
Holzer frequently utilizes projections and billboard-like displays, including screens with LED lights. She has been working since the late 1970s, with a project called Truisms, when she wrote a list of phrases, printed it on paper and then distributed it throughout New York. The phrases include “noise can be hostile”, “private property created crime” and “the family is living on borrowed time.” Now, her YOUVOTE 2020 project has, briefly, come to Madison.
At time of broadcast, trucks with flashing screens on their sides are stationed around Madison. Emblazoned on those screens are phrases encouraging people to QUOTE vote, promote equality, and respect black lives. In a September interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Holzer said that she chose truck routes carefully to ensure that many people get to see the messages. Earlier this year, Holzer sent trucks to Washington D.C. with messages criticizing the Trump administration for their response to COVID-19.
As part of the project, art students at UW-Madison penciled a quote chosen by Holzer onto MMOCA last week. The quote, by Sojourner Truth, reads “TRUTH IS POWERFUL AND WILL PREVAIL.”