Jenny Holzer: Laments

March 2, 1989–February 18, 1990, Dia Chelsea


Laments was developed by Jenny Holzer as a body of textual work for Dia. The accompanying exhibition consisted of thirteen texts engraved into a continuous row of stone sarcophagi that recounted what Holzer identified as “voices of the dead.” These lamentations expressed the thoughts of one infant, two children, and ten adults before death. LED lights affixed to columns within the space echoed these meditations in graphic form, constructing an architectural installation of spotlight tombs and didactic pillars. A publication was created to document the thirteen texts.


Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1950. She lives and works in Hoosick Falls, New York.

View profile



Photo: Don Stahl

Jenny Holzer: Laments

The texts printed in this book are reproductions of the original drawings for the inscriptions on thirteen stone sarcophagi installed at Dia, March 1, 1989–February 18, 1990.

View details

Get Dia News

Receive Dia News and be the first to hear about events and exhibitions happening at our locations and sites.