I Saw This: Bellevue Light Show

Light-emitting diode (LED) displays are not allowed in Bellevue, so Jenny Holzer’s Pink Truisms is facing away from the windows at Open Satellite. The NYC-based artist is known for her oversized work, but here there’s just a 4-by-5-inch screen, showing Holzer phrases from the late 1970s which have since been seen all over the world. Pink Truisms is the only thing in the gallery right now, a stand-in for an installation by British artists whose visas were delayed. The tiny screen shows text via red and white diodes, with words rendered in a range of lettering styles from square block caps to leaning italics, the backgrounds dark or blinking. It is not always easy to follow, even when you know what’s coming. (Holzer’s most famous truism might be “Abuse of power comes as no surprise.”) The text loop is about 15 minutes long, and the colors will begin to swim as you cycle through, the letters blurring to pink. Mini-screens just like this one were installed in Seoul in 2006, each screen repeating the same aphorisms over and over, with the timing slightly off. In Bellevue, you can sit with one small box and read the whole, singular piece. It’ll make your eyes hurt, and your head too, as many of the phrases hit home.