Jenny Holzer’s “Hurt Earth” lights up COP26
Artist Jenny Holzer
WOUNDED LAND lights up a series of quotes about the climate crisis on Monday in the SEC Armadillo auditorium of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Quotes include a few from David Attenborough, the 95-year-old British broadcaster who has given voice to dozens of nature documentaries and spoke forcefully to world leaders at the start of the climate conference.
“We depend on the natural world for every breath of air we take and every bite of the food we eat,” is one of Attenborough’s selected quotes seen on the aluminum-coated plates of the 7pm Armadillo. at 9 p.m. BST.
WOUNDED LAND the messages are a “collection of testimonies and voices from around the world,” put together and curated by the artist, says Laura Culpan, partner of London-based Artwise Curators, who co-curated and produced the work with Washington , DC, Shore Art Advisory, in collaboration with Art For Your World, a movement of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
To create the work, Holzer went through “thousands and thousands of quotes” and contacted everyone named, says Susie Allen, also a partner of Artwise. “It’s really an organized performance.”
The work originally lit the 325-foot-high brick fireplace in the center of London’s Tate Modern Museum from October 29-31, where it was performed 2.3 million times, receiving 100,000 likes on social networks and a take from Leonardo DiCaprio.
On Monday, a version of the complete work will also be seen simultaneously on Castle Rock below Edinburgh Castle. Then, for three nights starting Tuesday 9 November, it will be located on the Met Tower in Glasgow city center. From November 12-14, he will be seen in a series of pop-up locations around Edinburgh.
“It was something Jenny was keen to do – have the interaction with the audience all the time while the screening was going on,” Culpan said.
In each location, the flow of quotes is slightly different, with Attenborough’s words only visible to COP26 attendees, as the climate conference is known. The entire length of the work includes the words of over 40 climate activists. Quotes also appear in the work of young activists Greta Thunberg from Sweden, Vic Barrett from the United States and Hilda Flavia Nakabuye from Uganda.
Unlike many of Holzer’s texts, the artist chose to include the names of those who said each quote in WOUNDED LAND. She felt it was important to show “the global participation and the variety of known and unknown names, all equally important,” Culpan says.
The idea of WOUNDED LAND started with WWF, which Artwise works with as part of the larger Art For Your World effort, an awareness and fundraising project to unite artists, galleries and museums to fight climate change .
The fundraiser is aimed at specific projects on climate change, such as the replanting of vital seagrass meadows in the UK
In October, Art For Your World collaborated with Sotheby’s in London to sell eight works of art donated by eight artists, including Tracey Emin and Jadé Fadojutimi, raising more than £ 1million ($ 1.35million) in of a day of contemporary art.
The movement is also selling three limited edition prints in collaboration with UK-based gallery Rise Art by artists Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Heather Phillipson and Bob and Roberta Smith for £ 595 each.
For COP26, WWF wanted an artistic project open to the public. Artwise thought of Holzer, who answered yes immediately, Culpan says.
Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson collective in Palo Alto, Calif., Also collaborated on the project, which was co-organized and produced with Shore Art Advisory, who commissioned Holzer for YOU VOTE, a series of public artwork placed in swing states across the United States in 2020.
At the Tate, Allen spoke to visitors as they viewed Holzer’s artwork, including many who were moved by the illuminated text moving upward into the night. They had their own stories to share about their impact on climate change, including a girl from Africa who spoke about the effects of falling water levels in Lake Chad, and a man from Algeria who recently visited his native land to find the forests of his youth. disappeared and replaced by housing and factories.
“It’s the power to communicate emotions, it’s what artists do in poignant ways,” Culpan says. “It’s not just words. It’s meaning and it’s emotion, and you know there’s a genuine person behind those words.