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Thursday, April 05, 2007


Barbara Krakow Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work
by Jenny Holzer. The exhibition at Barbara Krakow Gallery will consist
of Holzer's 2006 and 2007 series of oil on linen paintings. The works
feature declassified and other sensitive United States government

In her newest work, Holzer negotiates the political landscape after
9/11 and traces the debate over covert operations, ghost detainees,
prisoner abuse, and war tragedies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo
Bay through the directives, emails, and testimonies of policy makers,
soldiers, and prisoners. The documents, many of which were classified
at the time they were written, originated in United States government
and military agencies and have been made part of the public record
through the landmark Freedom of Information Act. As with many of her
previous works, Holzer's relay of information and presentation of a
range of voices presume no particular ideology. Her paintings lend
tactility to documents often unseen and offer visibility to hidden
pasts and a masked present. Suspending the disastrous, the grotesque,
and the informative in a seductive painterly surface, Holzer counters
the compulsion to turn and ignore with the desire to see and know more.
Comparing Holzer's new paintings with Andy Warhol's "Death and
Disaster” series, Robert Storr writes in his catalogue essay, "...the
very dissonance between the obscene realism and formal elegance,
tabloid violence and domestic intimacy does nothing to soften the
horrid fascination of the depicted subjects or alleviate the
existential queasiness they provoke."

Holzer first conceived of using government documents as a medium in
2003. When asked by Wired Magazine how she would redo Google's
interface, Holzer commented, "I'd provide a secret, a surprise, every
time someone visits Google. The user would get the covert stuff that
makes fate. The homepage might include... a national security
directive... All the documents would be real and available on the Web."
Expanding upon this idea, Holzer used sensitive government materials in
her 2004 solo exhibition, Truth Before Power, at the Kunsthaus Bregenz
in Austria. Days prior to the 2004 United States presidential election,
documents, in the form of light, were projected onto George Washington
University's Gelman Library in Washington, D.C. The library houses the
National Security Archive, a non-profit, non-governmental organization
dedicated to defending and expanding public access to government
information. Holzer has relied on the NSA and its director, Thomas
Blanton, since her research into archival government materials
commenced. In the fall of 2005, Holzer projected a selection of
documents onto New York University's Bobst Library. Scrolling the
LaGuardia Place facade like credits at the end of a film, the documents
Holzer chose explored the United States' current 'war' on terrorism,
the consequences of 9/11, the practice of intelligence and
counter-intelligence, issues of prisoner abuse, and the ongoing
tragedies of war. The documents glazed the downtown architecture and
became entangled in its contours. Like a constant presence, a familiar
building, or truth, ignored secrets were evident.

For additional information please contact us by phone 617 262 4490, fax
617 262 8971, or email Barbara Krakow
Gallery. 10 Newbury Street. Boston, Massachusetts 02116

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