For RISD Rejoice!…
Jenny Holzer, American, For RISD Rejoice!…, 2007, Granite; 45.7 x 61 cm (18 x 24 inches) (height x depth), Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund 2007.78
Written language plays a central role in Jenny Holzer’s work. Her aphoristic texts can be simultaneously confrontational and poetic. Holzer’s poignant comments on contemporary life appear in public spaces and are broadly disseminated on LED signs, posters, T-shirts, metal plaques and stone benches. Commissioned by the Museum for its Farago entrance, For RISD Rejoice!… features one of Holzer’s 100-word Inflammatory Essays (1979 — 1982), which begins “Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take courage for the worst is a harbinger of the best.” Cut into the surface of the stone, the words acquire the timeless gravity of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments.