Release Date: Jul 28, 2014
Midnight Moment: A Logo for America by Alfredo Jaar
August 1-30, 2014, every night from 11:57 p.m.–midnight
(New York, N.Y.) July 28, 2014 — This August, The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts, in collaboration with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, present a reenactment of Alfredo Jaar’s iconic 1987 intervention in Times Square, A Logo for America. This Midnight Moment will premiere just before midnight on Friday, August 1st, and play every night throughout the month from 11:57 p.m. to midnight on 11 signs and 40 screens in Times Square. The video is part of the exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, presented in connection with the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, and on view at the Guggenheim Museum through October 1, 2014.
Amidst Times Square’s context of advertising and commercial culture, Alfredo Jaar’s animation A Logo for America displays the statement “This is not America” emblazoned across the outline of the United States. Through an apparently contradictory juxtaposition, the work challenges the fact that the word “America” is routinely but erroneously applied to just one part of the American continent. Originally displayed in 1987 on the Spectacolor Sign in Times Square, the 2014 reiteration of this intervention points out that, almost 30 years later, the representation of an entire continent is still monopolized by the same, single country.
Alfredo Jaar said, “Language is not innocent and reflects a geopolitical reality. The use of the word America in the USA, erroneously referring only to the USA and not to the entire continent is a clear manifestation of the political, financial, and cultural domination of the USA of the rest of the continent.”
Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Public Art Director, said, “A Logo for America is a seminal video public art work; the image has become synonymous with both Alfredo Jaar and Times Square and represents the power of artist, place, and politics coming together.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “In a place defined by American culture, Jaar introduces a new definition of America to Times Square.”
Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “We’re delighted to bring content originally displayed on Times Square screens almost 30 years ago, back as part of August’s Midnight Moment. Alfredo Jaar’s piece shares an important message with those visiting from all over the world.”
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, said, “We are pleased to present Alfredo Jaar’s A Logo for America in Times Square, which is featured in our Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative exhibition Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today, part of an important global contemporary art initiative with our collaborator UBS. We are grateful to Times Square Arts for this opportunity to bring art to the streets of New York.”
The following digital screens are participating in the August Midnight Moment:
American Eagle Times Square, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, NASDAQ, ClearChannel HD128, Spectacolor HD127 / CNN Screen, Viacom North & South (SL Green Realty), Thomson Reuters, 7TS (7 Times Square), and V Media Times Square.
About Midnight Moment
Midnight Moment is the largest coordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks throughout Times Square every night. The program premiered in May 2012 and is organized and supported by the Times Square Advertising Coalition in partnership with Times Square Arts, the public art program for the Times Square Alliance, with additional partners of participating sign holders and artists. Each night, Times Square becomes a digital art gallery through dazzling visuals on select billboards and newsstands. Every show begins at 11:57 p.m. with a "countdown" that signals the start of the three minute nightly presentation. Past artists featured in the program include Isaac Julien; Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Zach Nader; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; Leslie Thornton; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit TimesSquareNYC.org/MidnightMoment.
Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community. Members of TSAC include: ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org
Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit TimesSquareNYC.org/Arts for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TSqArts and Instagram @TSqArts
Alfredo Jaar was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1956. He studied architecture and filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura (1979), and Universidad de Chile, Santiago (1981). Select solo exhibitions include the Brooklyn Museum, New York (1989); Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1991); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2005) and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2014). A major retrospective of his work took place in 2012 in Berlin at NGBK and Alte Nationalgalerie. His work has been included in the Venice Biennale (1986, 2007, 2009 and 2013, the last time as Chile’s representative); Sao Paulo Biennial (1985, 1987, and 2010); Istanbul Biennial (1995); and Gwangju Biennial (1995 and 2000). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000 and Chile’s Premio Nacional de Arte in 2013. Jaar lives and works in New York. www.alfredojaar.net
The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative is a multi-year collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and UBS that charts contemporary art practice in three geographic regions—South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa—and encompasses curatorial residencies, international touring exhibitions, audience-driven education programming, and acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. Guggenheim.org/MAP. Follow us on Twitter @Guggenheim, #GuggUBSMAP and Facebook at facebook.com/guggenheimmuseum.
For TSAC: Justine DiGiglio (212) 205-6632 │Justine@nicholaslence.com
For Guggenheim Museum: Lauren Van Natten (212) 423-3840 │firstname.lastname@example.org