Jenny Holzer, Lustmord (1994), mixed-media; courtesy Barbara Gladstone Gallery
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Holzer’s installation debuts Lustmord, a group of texts about violence against women and recent events in the former Yugoslavia. The exhibition includes a leather-lined chamber, two three-dimensional LED imagers and a display of human bones, all of which bear, in one way or another, the artist’s signature maxims. Distinguished by nothing so much as production values, the installation transmutes tragedy into spectacle. Lustmord seems to be Holzer’s attempt at getting beyond her own good intentions. Viewers who confuse big-budget pronunciamentos with realpolitik may believe she has done so. Those who don’t are well advised to pursue their political endeavors elsewhere.
© 1994 Mario Naves
Originally published in the December 1994 edition of The New York Review of Art.