jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square's steel columns in sydney
jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square's steel columns in sydney jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square's steel columns in sydney
jun 24, 2014

jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square's steel columns in sydney

jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square’s steel columns in sydney
(above) I stay (ngaya ngalawa) , 2014
photo by brett boardman




projected onto one of the 19-meter-tall steel columns at 8 chifley square in sydney is ‘I stay (ngaya ngalawa)’ by american artist jenny holzer. the artwork features songs, poems, stories and other texts by aboriginal australians and torres straight islanders. the digital display — trademark of holzer’s creative oeuvre —  runs on an electronic display fitted to a four-sided beam, taking an endless course around the structural beam. ‘the text I chose was influenced by a people’s history, but the themes, such as love and survival, are universal.’ holzer explains of the contect ‘the first person voice in much of the writing makes the artwork alive and immediate, accessible to many. writing by aboriginal and torres strait islander authors was most compelling; it illustrates that what happens to individuals and groups, happens to society. the human themes here make this public space integrate and honor the personal’

jenny holzer i stay sydney
the writing is integrated into the architecture of the site
photos by brett boardman / courtesy of 2014 sydney design awards

jenny holzer projects poems on 8 chifley square's steel columns in sydney
stretching above passers-by
photo by tim carr

jenny holzer i stay sydney
the streetscape is altered by the monumental artwork towering overhead
photo by brett boardman

jenny holzer i stay sydney
two views of text running across the beam
photos by brett boardman

jenny holzer i stay sydney
the constantly moving digital screen projects poems and stories
photo by brett boardman


jenny holzer in sydney
video courtesy of john o’callaghan


project credit:


I stay (ngaya ngalawa) , 2014
LED sign with blue, green & red diodes
text: ‘keeping records’ from cordite poetry review by john muk muk burke, © 2000 by the author
used/reprinted with permission of the author;
‘in the dormitory’ from is that you,ruthie? by ruth hegarty, © 2003 by the author.
used/reprinted with permission of the author
permanent installation: 8 chifley square, sydney © 2014 jenny holzer, member artists rights society (ars), NY

  • I live across the street from this installation and I say with some ire that the street-facing tenants of our building abhor the text scrolling and reflecting on every bright surface in their studios 24-7. The concept of this artwork is sound but good design is also about placement and should take into consideration its surroundings. Yes, this artwork has a huge (sometimes unwitting) audience of Sydney-siders daily but does the intersection at Elizabeth/ Phillip and Hunter benefit from another distraction in this high-traffic area? I would love to see it permanently placed elsewhere.

    Verity-Kate Starscream says:

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