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Jenny Holzer

Phase III Decisive Operations violet

  • Phase III Decisive Operations violet
    © Jenny Holzer. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London 2023

About this artwork

Jenny Holzer’s works have a strong political emphasis, questioning how information is both controlled and received in the public domain. In this series of screenprints she reveals sensitive government transcripts relating to America’s intervention in the Middle East. Here, a document from the US National Security Archive has been enlarged to show a map of Iraq, on which broad arrows indicate planned routes of attack on Baghdad and its surroundings. The painted violet surface undulates, becoming more saturated in certain places to mimic the colour that skin turns when it bruises. Holzer uses the words "declassified" and "declassify" as well as various acronyms to encourage us to consider the sensitive nature of the military information set against the image of a divided and threatened Iraq.

Updated before 2020

Jenny Holzer (born 1950) American
Phase III Decisive Operations violet
Oil paint on canvas
201.10 x 260.00 x 4.00 cm
Object type:
Credit line:
ARTIST ROOMS Presented by the artist jointly to National Galleries of Scotland and Tate and acquired with assistance of the ARTIST ROOMS Fund, supported by the Henry Moore Foundation 2011
Accession number:
In Storage

True colours

Jenny Holzer

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