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Jenny Holzer to use augmented reality in Blenheim Palace show

US artist will transform the English stately home with hi-tech pieces and outdoor installations

by Gareth Harris  |  6 March 2017
Jenny Holzer to use augmented reality in Blenheim Palace show
Jenny Holzer's Xenon for Venice (1999) (© 1999 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society, NY; Photo: Attilio Maranzano)
The US artist Jenny Holzer will show new works, some of them using augmented reality, in an exhibition due to open at Blenheim Palace this autumn (28 September-31 December). The 18th-century English estate in Oxfordshire is the family seat of the dukes of Marlborough.

Holzer is known for her large-scale electronic LED signs and 1970s Truisms text works. She is the fourth contemporary artist to have a show at the palace after Michelangelo Pistoletto last year and Lawrence Weiner in 2015. 

“The exhibition will use augmented reality to explore the potential of the virtual space,” according to a press statement. Holzer tells The Art Newspaper: "We could summon AR 'projections' of [war] veterans' text and poetry on the Palace's facade, and on indoor surfaces such as paintings, tapestries, carpets, busts (heads not breasts) and notable architectural features."

The show will also feature Holzer’s LED signs, within the Baroque architecture of the Palace, while large-scale light installations will be installed in the palace grounds. Other new works will use black mondo grass, a type of foliage with purple and black leaves.

Earlier this year, Holzer’s New York City Aids Memorial, which incorporates a text piece by the artist, was unveiled in the West Village in New York. Meanwhile, a new permanent installation by Holzer, comprising three stone walls inscribed with ancient text, is due to go on show later this year at the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. She was the first woman to represent the US at the Venice Biennale in 1990.   

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