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November 11, 2009

Since 1977, visitors to Times Square have discovered the rich harmonic sound texture by artist Max Neuhaus that emerges from a large underground subway vault at 46th and Broadway. As part of Performa 09, two contemporary musicians, Tony Conrad and Jennifer Walshe, will hold a 20 minute concert by playing newly reconstructed 1913 Futurist instruments with the Neuhaus’ sounds above the subway grates.

“Times Square” by Max Neuhaus has produced its deep, long tones from 1977 to 1992 and then reinstated by the DIA Arts Foundation in 2002 with support from the Times Square Alliance and MTA Arts in Transit. Visitors may experience the sound work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Max Neuhaus

Max Neuhaus worked in the fields of contemporary art and music for more than 40 years. He is credited with being the first to extend sound as a primary medium into the field of contemporary art. His work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries, including exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris; and the Kunsthalle, Bern. It has also been included in Documenta VI (1977) and IX (1992), Kassel, and the Venice Biennale (1999). Several of Neuhaus's sound works are permanently installed in public venues in Europe. Times Square is Neuhaus's only public installation currently active in the United States. Neuhaus died on February 3, 2009.


Tony Conrad (b. Concord, MA, 1940) has worked in music composition, video, film, and performance since the early 1960s, and was involved in the early development of minimal music and underground cinema. He is best known for his violin playing with the Theatre of Eternal Music and for his 1966 film The Flicker, a key early work of the Structural Film movement. Conrad continues to show his video works and perform regularly in the U.S. and internationally.

Jennifer Walshe (b. Dublin, 1974) is a composer and vocalist whose works have been commissioned and performed all over the world. She is a creator of installation, orchestral, chamber and music theater works including the chamber opera for Barbie dolls XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, commissioned by Wien Modern.

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