This month agitprop artist Jenny Holzer takes on the establishment at Blenheim Palace.
Known for her anti-establishment LED slogans, we’re excited to see what Holzer will create in this bastion of the ruling class and birthplace of Churchill. She says: “My first visit to Blenheim Palace left me with too many ideas, on the complex past and its relevance to this knife-edge present.”
Holzer will create new, site-specific work, directly addressing the Palace’s military and political history in relation to themes which have figured prominently in her practice since the 1980s: power, conflict and activism.
The exhibition will use augmented reality to explore the potential of the virtual space. This interest in new technologies and art will run through the show, which will also feature Holzer’s well-known work with LED signs, beaming into the Baroque architecture of the Palace. Additionally, Holzer is developing large-scale light projections that will transform the Palace grounds after dark in a series of night-time public events. Alongside these, more meditative areas will feature examples of Holzer’s best known work, such as her renowned engraved stonework, as well as new installations using black mondo grass.
The first woman to exhibit to date in the Palace’s programme of exhibiting contemporary art at the Palace, Holzer follows Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner and Michelangelo Pistoletto. With this new exhibition, the Foundation and the artist work together to break new ground, hoping to radically rethink the viewer’s experience of fine art exhibitions. This spirit of innovation will present fascinating contrasts with the historical tradition that the Palace stands for. With this exhibition, Holzer will marry past and future, simultaneously challenging viewers with her installations whilst also engaging with the historical precedents that have cemented Blenheim Palace’s enduring legacy.
Michael Frahm, Director of Blenheim Art Foundation, said: “We are very excited to work with Jenny Holzer for the Foundation’s 2017 programme. Her vision for the show is extraordinary and this exhibition looks to push boundaries in terms of what visitors expect to see at contemporary art exhibitions. Jenny has been one of art’s strongest and most unique voices since the 1980s, and it is an honour to work alongside her on this new chapter in her work, and to continue to showcase ground-breaking contemporary art at Blenheim Palace.”
The exhibition opens on 28th September and runs until 31 December 2017.