Jenny Holzer: DETAINED opens in London

Jenny Holzer, <i>WISH LIST BLACK</i> (detail), 2006. Oil on linen; 16 panels, 33 x 408 inches. © 2007 Jenny Holzer, member Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Monika Sprueth Philomene Magers gallery in London presents DETAINED, an installation by Jenny Holzer that opens tonight and runs through March 15. Beginning with her 2004 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, Holzer has made the study of declassified US government documents the content for her context-based practice.

In DETAINED, Holzer exhibits new works including a series of paintings and a large LED configuration. Each painting depicts a handprint of an American soldier accused of crimes in Iraq, including detainee abuse and assault. Culled from documents made public through the Freedom of Information Act, Holzer’s hangs the hands of the charged next to those of the wrongly accused and those whose culpability has been lost, representing the fog of war. Her LED artwork, Torso, displays in red, blue, white, and purple light the statements, investigation reports, and emails from the case files of the accused soldiers. The installation lays bare that it is the individual who suffers and confronts the mechanics of politics and war. DETAINED makes substantial Wislawa Szymborska’s lament and statement in her poem “Tortures” that “the body is and is and is and has nowhere to go.”

Read an interview with Jenny Holzer and watch a video clip in which she talks about her redaction paintings on her Art:21 webpage here.