The Power of Words

Anti-Gun Truck is an installation series produced by artist Jenny Holzer, whereby a truck painted black, with poignant slogans on its side pulls up at site-specific locations such as Trump Tower, the White House, a cemetery etc. The slogans varied according to the location of the truck,  but nevertheless, the statements were blunt, almost imposing as they echoed a kind of reference that was tied to each geographical location.




The image above is from ‘Talhassee #2″, in which the truck has stopped at a graveyard in Florida while branding the words ‘Too Late Now”. The graveyard, however, was one of the burial places for the students that had gotten killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school massacre. It is more than obvious that the artwork’s motive did not beat around the bush — it was direct and to the point of the issue. The artist, Jenny Holzer, is known for her conceptual, language-based artwork that usually deals with political matters. She is wildly famous for her outdoor and projection work that were scattered throughout the world, and her attempts to grab a viewer’s attention at the first glance is what got me intrigued in her work.

I have always enjoyed writing and story-telling as a way of expression, a way of delivering messages. Words are intangible and yet, can trigger a various array of emotions in an individual, which is what I find the most fascinating. Thus, it wasn’t a surprise to myself when I found Jenny Holzer’s work bold and brutally honest. She is not only honing an awareness of the site-specific history that people usually take for granted, but her bold style of art-making is sharp and easy to decipher, almost aggressive so that the viewer feels attacked. They were just words, but words with  harsh truth that any individual could understand.

As an article stated, ‘we now exist in a culture which demands direct, challenging art to be made’, ‘now is not the time for interpretation, but for interrogation’, and Holzer’s art executes this notion with brutal honesty.


— Megan