Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer offers a haunting reminder of the violence that came after 9/11 in an exhibition opening last week on Sept. 11 in New York.
“Dust Paintings” at Cheim & Read features carefully recreated and then distorted government documents, including almost wholly redacted pages made to resemble abstract expressionist art, prisoner testimony from the investigation into the death of Afghan prisoner Jamal Naseer that appears in weird shades of grey, and a version of at least one leaked image from Edward Snowden.
“After 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, I wanted to understand what happened and why,” Holzer told The Art Newspaper. “Many news outlets were cautious or consistently positive at the time, and it occurred to me that formerly secret documents could offer more complete and unmediated information.”
The exhibition runs through October 25. Here are a few highlights:
And here’s Holzer’s only slightly modified version of the infamous smiley face image leaked by Snowden:
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