25 February 2007

Jenny Holzer Saved My Life Today

enjoy yourself because you can't change anything anyway

Today we visited the new Denver Art Museum designed by Daniel Libeskind because we wanted to see the inside (the outside looks like a ship crashing into a pier to me but that's another post).

They had one Jenny Holzer work on display. I never know how to approach Ms. Holzer's work. Sardonically; ironically; honestly; condescendingly; truthfully; philosophically?

But today her electronic billboard scrolled the thought:

enjoy yourself because you can't change anything anyway.

This instantly changed me from depressed to not. It is not defeatist, it is liberating. It says: Live. Now. Do. Don't be attached to outcomes. Depressed folks like to live in the future or the past. We dwell on horrors to come or horrible mistakes of the past. When of course the past and future do not exist and all that we think about them are just that: thoughts.

Yes I've heard it before - it's all zen and everything - but sometimes context is everything, and in the middle of a very disorienting building with some very disorienting art. Ms. Holzer's truism was... true.

So art caused a liberation today.

I doubt Ms. Holzer would object.

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