This workshop is inspired by the visual art of Jenny Holzer, an American neo-conceptual artist known for her text-based public art projects. Exploring how language is used as a form of communication and a means of concealment and control, Holzer has employed a variety of media throughout her career, including large-scale projections, LED displays, T-shirts, and posters. Her popular series Truisms began in 1977, when she started posting ambiguous quotes such as “ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE” and “PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT” throughout New York. Jenny's works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, among others. In this writing workshop with Rachel Wiley, we will discuss the power of words and various ways to use them in confronting power structures large and small.
Rachel Wiley is a queer and biracial poet, performer, feminist, and fat liberationist from Columbus, Ohio. She has toured nationally performing at slam venues, colleges, and festivals. Her work has appeared on Upworthy, The Huffington Post, The Militant Baker, and Everyday Feminism. She is a fellow and faculty member of the Pink Door Writing Retreat held each year in Rochester, NY for women and nonbinary writers of color. She is the author of two full length poetry collections: Fat Girl Finishing School and Nothing is Okay, published by Button Poetry.