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Truisms


In 1993 Jenny Holzer installed her artwork on empty movie marquees. Instead of the coming attraction passerbys were treated to "truisms"or statements by Holzer that sounded like daily proverbs, but were actually questioning common practices. Wildly different than the typical movie titles listed in these spaces, Holzer's phrases were designed to make people not just question what they were reading but what they were thinking--how they think. Like the phrase, "it is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender." It's not counter-cultural in the way of punk rock or mohawks, but actually very counter to culture that rewards those who claw their way to the top and idolizes fictional characters who specialize in violence. She used a common vehicle of popular culture to send a powerful message. It is this re-claiming of public space and popular culture that is perhaps most effective and most necessary in today's world.