In Focus

Jenny Holzer, I Am a Man

The following is a transcript of Jenny Holzer's LED installation __at the 1987 Documenta VIII exhibition in Kassel, Germany.

I AM A MAN.

I ENTER SPACE BECAUSE IT EMPTIES ME.

I CHASE PEOPLE

AROUND THE HOUSE.

I SLEEP ON MY BACK

FOR SIGHTS OF SEX

THAT MAKES BLOOD.

I PROTECT WHAT MULTIPLIES

BUT I AM NOT CERTAIN

THAT I LOVE MY BOY.

THERE IS PLEASURE

IN STOPPING MY FLESH

WHEN IT DOES WRONG.

GETTING WHAT I WANT

MAKES ME SICK.

WHY I FIGHT IS

NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

I LIKE DYING AND I AM SURE

I CAN DO IT MORE THAN ONCE.

I NEED PERFECTION BUT

WHEN I IMPLEMENT IT

HALF OF EVERYONE DIES.

I HAVE A LOT OF ACCIDENTS

AND I THINK THEY ARE FUNNY.

I EMPLOY PEOPLE TO MAKE

MY HOURS LIKE DREAMS.

I LIKE A CIRCLE OF

BODIES WHOSE HANDS

DO WHAT THEY SHOULD.

I WILL KILL YOU FOR

WHAT YOU MIGHT DO.

Excerpt from

Jenny Holzer, I Am a Man, 1987.