This is the Jenny Holzer piece that made me cry at LACMA yesterday. (It’s always something, and never what you expect.) It’s a mix of LED displays and this engraved full-sized coffin, which reads:
I WAS SICK FROM ACTING NORMAL. I WATCHED REPLAYS OF THE WAR. WHEN NOTHING HAPPENED I CLOSED A ZONE WHERE I EXERT CONTROL. I FORMED A GOVERNMENT THAT IS AS WELCOME AS SEX. I AM GOOD TO PEOPLE UNTIL THEY DO SOMETHING STUPID. I STOP THE HABITUAL MISTAKES THAT MAKE FATE. I GIVE PEOPLE TIME SO THEY FEEL THEIR LIVES MOVING OVER THEIR SKINS. I WANT A LARGER ARENA. I TEASE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF MY ABSENCE.
There was some unexpected Wojnarowicz in the same exhibit, and Haring (though oddly no Gonzalez-Torres), but it was the Holzer that almost actually brought me to my knees. I just wanted to rest my cheek on that polished granite and hold on a while.
As much as I want How to Survive a Plague to win best documentary tonight, I know it’s probably the underdog. But you should watch it - it’s on Netflix, VOD, etc. - whether you aren’t sure how much you know about the AIDS epidemic in America or whether you’re still raw around the edges from all you lost. It’s a dramatic, heart-pounding thriller about power, desperation and action, and it was absolutely the best film I saw last year.