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Jenny Holzer Will Bring Text-Based Light Projections To Rockefeller Plaza

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This October, artist Jenny Holzer will collaborate once again with Creative Time to bring her text-based artwork to a public space in New York City. Over the decades her work has hit notes from amusing to devastating, but this project will focus less on strong declarations and aphorisms, and instead will bring us the words of those whose lives have been affected by gun violence.

The upcoming project, titled VIGIL, will be anchored at Rockefeller Plaza, and will focus on mass shootings in America. (As of September 1st, there have been 283, according to Gun Violence Archive.)

For her third collaboration with Creative Time, Holzer will illuminate the iconic buildings at Rockefeller Plaza with a never-before-seen collection of her signature text-based light projections. The projections will include first-hand accounts, poems, and responses by Americans who have been directly affected by gun violence, including survivors and family members of the deceased. In this large-scale work, each voice is magnified in scrolling letters of light over the building’s facades. Both stark and kind, the work serves as a vigil for victims of gun violence and an acknowledgement of the regularity with which these incidents occur.

Of her work, which is heavy on the sharp one-liners and truisms, Holzer has said, “I use[d] language because I wanted to offer content that people—not necessarily art people—could understand.”

In 2004/2005, Holzer teamed up with Creative Time for a similar project, titled For New York City: Planes and Projections, which featured “airplanes flying in succession along the Hudson River while pulling banners emblazoned with text,” and other pieces projected on to New York landmarks, like Rockefeller Plaza (pictured), Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, 515 Greenwich Street, Hotel Pennsylvania, The Cooper Union, and more.

VIGIL will be on view nightly starting at 8 p.m., from October 10th through 12th.



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