Jenny Holzer

'Truisms', 1984.

Like other artists of her generation, Holzer turned to the strategies of the mass media and advertising in her work. In the late 1970s, she devised nearly 300 aphorisms or slogans, which play on commonly held truths and clichés. Initially, the Truisms were infiltrated into the public arena via stickers, T-shirts and posters. Later, Holzer started using electronic displays. In 1982 she blazed these messages across a giant advertising hoarding in Times Square, New York. The Truisms are deliberately challenging, presenting a spectrum of often-contradictory opinions. Holzer hoped they would sharpen people’s awareness of the ‘usual baloney they are fed’ in daily life.