Times Square Alliance’s Free Public Art Program Features Leading Contemporary Art and Performance in Times Square’s Public Spaces
NEW YORK, N.Y. – August 26, 2015 – Times Square Arts, the public art division of the Times Square Alliance, will launch its third fall season linking international artists tied to major festivals, edgy design, and the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera. This fall’s lineup of free public art includes works from Robin Rhode, Rashaad Newsome, Kyle Abraham, Shahzia Sikander, Jesper Just and Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer and partnerships with the Metropolitan Opera, Performa, Juxtapoz and Open House New York.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Now more than ever it is important to demonstrate the cultural potential of the Times Square plazas and to celebrate creativity and freedom of expression with high-quality programming from the world’s most engaging artists, musicians and designers.”
Sherry Dobbin, Director of Times Square Arts, said, “Through the fine arts practice of Sikander, Rhode and Just, to hip-hop culture as exposed by Newsome, to performance-based experimentation by artists Okpokwasili and Abraham, Times Square Arts continues to expand the intersections between public and art, always informed by leading contemporary artists.”
Times Square Arts presents two forms of opera, from the grand spectacle of Verdi’s Otello presented by The Metropolitan Opera in September, to an intimate and personal street opera with the visual artist Robin Rhode for Performa in November.
On September 21st at 6:15pm, a 10-year tradition continues as the Metropolitan Opera's 2015-2016 season opens with a live transmission of Verdi’s Otello to multiple screens in Times Square. Seating will be available on the Broadway plazas between 43rd - 44th Sts and on Duffy Square. Presented in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera.
In Erwartung: A Street Opera, Robin Rhode reimagines Schönberg's Erwartung (Expectation), an opera about love, loss and longing from the perspective of South African women waiting for absent husbands working far from home in the city on November 7th and 8th in Times Square. Presented in partnership with Performa 15.
Hip-Hop meets choral music with Rashaad Newsome in September while Kyle Abraham uses jazz to explore the meaning of freedom in October.
In September, broaching the fine arts and music worlds, Rashaad Newsome brings his exploration of hip-hop’s unspoken gestural language, The Conductor (Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi), to Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight each night. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.
On October 11, Kyle Abraham and Blue Note recording artist Otis Brown III conduct a multi-generational collaborative entry workshop in explorative conversation and movement investigation, focused on ideas of freedom and social change, called Improvisation and Statements of Freedom in Jazz and Music.
The October and November Midnight Moments will focus on the fine arts, from Shahzia Sikander’s painterly journey to Jesper Just’s portrayal of society’s obsession with femininity and commodity.
This October, Shahzia Sikander’s painterly animation Gopi-Contagion takes the viewer through the movement of hundreds of digitally animated drawings to explore the idea of swarming, or collective behavior, as a complex observable phenomenon.
For the month of November, Jesper Just’s film Servitudes probes society’s obsession with youth and beauty and explores the tension between identity, femininity and commodity in the contemporary age.
Design in Times Square’s public spaces will be explored with two programs - TSQ Newstand and Open House New York - this October.
From October 9-18, Times Square Arts partners with Juxtapoz and Victory Journal to present TSQ Newsstand. NYC-based artist and designer Kimou “Grotesk” Meyer rediscovers the iconic New York newsstand of yesterday with a pop-up installation as a colorful reminder of the city’s support of artists and printed publications.
Open House New York, taking place October 17-18, unlocks the doors of New York’s most important buildings, offering an extraordinary opportunity to experience the city and meet the people who design, build, and preserve New York.
Times Square | Nighttime Spectaculars
October 17 & 18 | 11:00 pm: Learn the story of Times Square’s "Spectacular Signs”, which have been cultural landmarks for over a century. The tour will culminate with a viewing of “Gopi-Contagion”, October's Midnight Moment.
Times Square | Crossroads of Design
October 18 | 12:00 pm–1:30 pm: Explore generations of Times Square’s unique design and architectural assets, from Broadway’s world-famous turn of the century theaters to Renzo Piano's 2007 New York Times Building. RSVP necessary. See instructions at www.OHNY.org. Installations and performances on the public plazas of 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 of 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. For more information, visit http://www.timessquarenyc.org/midnightmoment
Times Square Arts, the public art 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 and Instagram at @TSqArts.