Jenny Holzer: "Installation für Reichstagsgebäude"
© German Bundestag/Klonk
born 1950 in Gallipolis/Ohio, lives in New York.
On a pillar in the north entrance hall of the Reichstag Building, American artist Jenny Holzer presents speeches given by Members of the Reichstag and Bundestag between 1871 and 1999. The speeches, which were selected and grouped by the artist according to subject, flow up the pillar in the form of LED lettering from floor to ceiling. Standing in the centre of the entrance hall, the pillar appears to be an integral part of the building’s structure.
Thus the parliamentary speeches that flow up the installation symbolically form a pillar supporting the parliament in its function as a place of political debate (the word ‘parliament’ being derived from the French ‘parler’, to speak). Each of the four sides of the pillar displays a different speech on the same subject, symbolising the fact that in politics there can be no single answer to any particular question. Using her characteristic artistic medium, Jenny Holzer has thus created a graphic meditation on the nature and history of parliamentarianism in Germany.