Jenny Holzer - IT TAKES A WHILE BEFORE YOU CAN STEP OVER INERT BODIES AND GO AHEAD WITH WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO DO, from The Living Series, 1989.
Onto each of the twenty-eight white granite benches arranged symmetrically around the perimeter of a square, Jenny Holzer has engraved a different aphorism. Since the mid-1970s, using words as her artistic medium, Holzer has been disseminating her provocative messages—”truisms”—into public spaces: on posters, on stickers placed on parking meters or telephone booths, on electronic display signboards from Times Square to Caesar’s Palace, and most recently, on the Internet. As the first woman artist to represent the United States at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1990, Holzer created a memorable installation of twenty-one electronic signboards flashing messages in a babel of languages. Her sculptural installation in the Garden allows visitors a place to rest as they contemplate her cryptic, often contradictory, messages and the role that language plays in contemporary society.