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Jenny Holzer, Top Secret 23


Jenny Holzer (American, b. 1950)

Medium: Template reservage technique, on 350 g/qm wove paper

Dimensions: 90.5 × 70 cm (35 3/5 × 27 3/5 in)

Jenny Holzer, Top Secret 23 is an artwork that combines geometrical abstraction with a political background. It forms part of a series of paintings and prints broaching the issue of American war crimes. Holzer had found several classified documents of the US Army that relate to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Holzer replaced the censored components of the documents with black rectangles, alluding to the minimalist artworks by Kasimir Malevich.

“I want the meaning to be available but I also want it sometimes to disappear into fractured reflections… Because one’s focus comes and goes, one’s ability to understand what’s happening ebbs and flows. I like the representation of language to be the same” – Jenny Holzer cited in: Kelly Shindler, ‘Spotlight on protest: Jenny Holzer’, Art 21, 1 November 2007, online.


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