Art collaboration with Jenny Holzer launches at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

View of MMoCA from the outside
Local artists painted murals on the boarded up exterior of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. (Photo by Tim Burton)

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is partnering with University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to host a series of election-year themed artworks envisioned by Jenny Holzer, a New York-based artist for the “YOUVOTE” campaign.

In anticipation of the 2020 U.S. presidential and congressional elections, a release explained that Jenny Holzer Studio is mobilizing a series of artworks in key areas through the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in hopes of championing broad political engagement, issue awareness and voter empowerment.

The project employs a range of media, including fleets of LED vehicles, light projections, billboards, T-shirts and social media activations. Organizers say content will be drawn from texts centered around various issues including social and economic justice,
gun control, climate change, gender and racial equality, immigration and voting rights.

The project will launch today with a mural on boards covering MMoCA’s Henry Street windows, damaged last May during protests following the killing of George Floyd. The mural is expected to be complete by Saturday Oct. 3.

UW-Madison students will work with Henrique Nardi, an instructor of graphic design at the UW Art Department, to project a topical Sojourner Truth quote chosen by Jenny Holzer onto the museum boards just after dark on Friday.

A release said the selected quote is “particularly poignant and timely in relation to not only the election and raising awareness of social justice, but also Holzer’s own practice of reflecting on truth in her work.”

“From her early Truisms featured in New York City’s Times Square to present, Holzer has activated public spaces to create meaningful dialogue with communities about pressing social issues and personal responsibilities,” said Christina Brungardt, the Gabriele Haberland Director of MMoCA.

Holzer has been in several exhibitions at the museum and her 1982 work “Untitled,” is a part of their permanent collection.

“Holzer’s work is impactful, because it uses simple messages to engage the viewer and draw their attention to the topic at hand. It is my hope that her work will delight and inspire people who see it, and encourage everyone to vote this fall,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway.

Other “YOUVOTE” artworks in the coming weeks will include banners on bridges over Park Street and Campus Drive, LED boards on trucks and artwork on city utility boxes.

More information can be found at www.youvote.vote/