Jenny Holzer – Artist Room

23 July 2018 – 7 August 2019 @Tate Modern

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I will miss you Jenny: the Tate Modern’s Artist Room will soon change host and the American artist (welcomed in June 2018) will have to dismantle the tons of compulsive and stalking announcements that now populate the space.

Word-painted walls embrace and surround us in these two small rooms: they are literally covered with definitions, verbs and expressions, significations and terminologies.  Her language sticks on chairs, projectors, street signs, fabrics and materials of all kinds.  Apparently they get along and thrive with each other – and you find yourself unintentionally nodding with conviction to statements that seemed confilicting just a minute before.

While every meaning deviates from the source and contradicts itself, you sit on a bench glaring at peculiar shady bags that seem to obey more categorical messages; tons of information simultaneously reach your synapses, making you suddenly feel very, very sharp. There is a lot of stuff happening and it’s all synchronized, in pure Holzer style.

Concepts are spread with no obligation to indoctrinate us – but to fascinate and reassure, almost to push us to deliver a free and (why not) bizarre interpretation. As in the great classics, although not a classic, the viewer is anxious to search for a meaning without finding it, but finds it only when he stops looking for it.

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