jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago

the university of chicago debuts a new public artwork by world-renowned artist and alumna jenny holzer entitled ‘you be my ally.’ the text-based work, created in collaboration with the university’s students and faculty, is available for viewing on the uchicago campus and worldwide. now through november 22, 2020, the installation encompasses a web-based augmented reality app together with a fleet of LED trucks driven throughout the city. with ‘you be my ally,’ the artist responds to the challenges of participation in the arts during a pandemic. the selected historic texts invite the viewer to consider the impact of public speech in a democracy in the weeks and days leading up to the 2020 election.

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text (left): borderlands / la frontera by gloria anzaldúa, © 1987 by the author
text (right): fragment 1 from if not, winter: fragments of sappho by anne carson, © 2002 by the author
all images by christopher dilts | © 2020 jenny holzer, member artists rights society (ARS)

 

 

jenny holzer’s ‘you be my ally’ features twenty-nine excerpts from historically significant readings from the university of chicago’s college core curriculum — including works by distinguished writers W. E. B. du bois, helen keller, audre lorde, toni morrison, friedrich nietzsche, plato, mary shelley, and virginia woolf. the title of the project itself is an excerpt from ‘if not, winter: fragments of sappho,’ a translation by classicist anne carson that is among the core readings.

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: fragment 1 from if not, winter: fragments of sappho by anne carson, © 2002 by the author

 

 

‘you be my ally’ invites viewers to interact with their surroundings and forge new cultural and architectural meanings from the dichotomy of historic texts and lived urban environments. once users arrive at a specially marked location on campus and hold up their smartphone to view the app, they have the option to take a photo and share the project on social media. off campus, viewers can experience the work by accessing the app on any mobile device. the AR experience for ‘you be my ally’ was created in partnership with technology consultant mark hellar and digital agency holition.

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: borderlands / la frontera by gloria anzaldúa, © 1987 by the author

 

 

with jenny holzer’s ‘you be my ally,’ viewers can access a free, web-based AR app to virtually project and animate these texts onto the facades of architecturally significant buildings at the university of chicago. in addition, app users can project the title quote onto their surroundings anywhere in the world. on october 30th, the remaining 28 quotations will become available to project anywhere. as part of the premiere of ‘you be my ally’ earlier this week, text selections from the core curriculum appeared on LED trucks driving throughout the uchicago campus, south side, and downtown communities. text excerpts for the project were selected in collaboration with uchicago students and faculty.

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: the souls of black folk by W. E. B. du bois, 1903

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: phaedrus by plato, english translation by alexander nehamas and paul woodruff, © 1995 by the translators

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: fragment 1 from if not, winter: fragments of sappho by anne carson, © 2002 by the author

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
a vindication of the rights of woman by mary wollstonecraft, 1792; citizen by claudia rankine, © 2014 by the author

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: fragment 1 from if not, winter: fragments of sappho by anne carson, © 2002 by the author

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
top text: stesichoros, fragment 192 from autobiography of red: a novel in verse by anne carson © 1998 by the author
mid text: black skin, white masks by frantz fanon, © 1952 by éditions du seuil
bottom text: country of my skull by antjie krog, © 1998 by the author

jenny-holzer-you-be-my-ally-university-chicago-designboom-010

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
top text: borderlands / la frontera by gloria anzaldúa, © 1987 by the author
mid text: frankenstein by mary wollstonecraft shelley, 1818
bottom text: the world I live in by helen keller, 1908

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: ‘dislocation’ from the curious case of dassoukine’s trousers by fouad laroui, © 2012 by éditions julliard
english translation by emma ramadan, © 2016 by the translator.

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
text: the souls of black folk by W. E. B. du bois, 1903

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
top text: discourse on colonialism by aimé césaire, © 1955 by éditions présence africaine
top text english translation by joan pinkham, © 1972 by monthly review press
bottom text: phaedrus by plato, translation by alexander nehamas and paul woodruff, © 1995 by translators

jenny holzer debuts timely virtual public artwork 'you be my ally' in chicago
augmented reality app 

 

 

project info:

 

project title: you be my ally

artist: © jenny holzer

installation location: university of chicago, illinois, USA

completion: 2020

photography: © christopher dilts | @chrisdilts

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