JENNY HOLZER: FOR LOUVRE ABU DHABI (2017)
Commissioned to coincide with the museum’s opening and to enrich its narrative about the unity and diversity of humanity while engaging with contemporary artistic production, Jenny Holzer’s permanent installation for Louvre Abu Dhabi consists of three texts carved into marble panels on the external walls of its galleries.
Holzer’s choice of texts, one in Sumerian-Akkadian, one in Arabic and one in French, reflect Louvre Abu Dhabi’s multi-cultural origins and its universal approach to the history of culture and creativity. They include excerpts from a Mesopotamian Creation Myth tablet that was excavated from the ancient city of Assur in present-day Iraq and the 1588 annotated edition of Michel de Montaigne's Essais as well as a passage from Ibn Khaldun’s 14th-century Muqaddimah, which is drawn from the Atif Efendi Library collection in Istanbul.
Widely regarded as the most important piece of Islamic history of the premodern world, the Muqaddimah (Introduction), is a monumental work that many scholars consider as a foundation for modern fields of enquiry, such as economics, sociology, ethnography and the philosophy of history.
Louvre Abu Dhabi builds upon Holzer’s four decade-long concern with the delivery of words and presentation of ideas in public spaces. Her large-scale, text-based installations have included advertising billboards, projections on buildings and other architectural structures, and illuminated electronic displays.