Textdemic | A Retrospective on Jenny Holzer’s Laments Ed. by A.L. Steiner and GenderFail, a publication based on A.L. Steiner + Friends on Jenny Holzer at Dia Chelsea. This book is based on the Artists on Artists Lecture Series, when Dia Art Foundation invited Steiner to curate a public program based on a work of the artist’s choice.
Steiner chose Jenny Holzer’s Laments and invited Morgan Bassichis, Riel Bellow, Gregg Bordowitz, Alexander Chee, Malik Gaines, Guadalupe Maravilla + Alexa Mishell Guillen, Lucas Michael, Eileen Myles and Pamela Sneed to present in Dia’s first in-person program after the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2021. This publication features records of the poems, lectures and performances that took place during this memorial program. The design of the book plays homage to the 1990 Laments publication by Dia Art Foundation.
For this publication, Steiner and GenderFail invited Matilde Guidelli-Guidi, Associate Curator at Dia Art Foundation and the organizer of the Artists on Artists Lecture Series, to write an afterword for the book. In this she states: “Dispensing altogether with the monographic formula that characterizes the institution, for her Lecture A.L. Steiner convened a group of artists, writers, and activists to join her in responding to Jenny Holzer’s 1989 text-based installation, Laments. Holzer identified the thirteen texts that comprise Laments as ‘voices of the dead,’ a visual choir in response to the raging HIV/AIDS epidemic and government inaction. Over the protracted COVID-19 lockdown, Steiner developed the idea to organize an evening for the voices of the living to lament the crises of today.”
Textdemic | A Retrospective on Jenny Holzer’s Laments will be published in association with the upcoming Printed Matter Gala honoring Holzer. Copies will be available first at the gala for purchase, and thereafter at Printed Matter and wherever GenderFail titles are sold (including our online store). This book is the largest handmade GenderFail risograph book edition to date at 750.