September 1-30, every night from 11:57 pm–midnight

Tantris press release

(New York, N.Y.) August 30, 2016 – In partnership with the Metropolitan Opera and Gallery Met Shorts, Times Square Arts brings Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal’s Tantris (Young Tristan) to Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in September. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.

September’s Midnight Moment is presented in conjunction with the opening of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at the Metropolitan Opera. The show will be broadcast live in Times Square on September 26, continuing an 11-year tradition, and will include Peyton and Emdal’s film during the intermission content.   This film has been commissioned by Gallery Met Shorts to accompany the HD Broadcast distribution but is being premiered as September’s Midnight Moment.

Every legend starts from somewhere. Tantris (Young Tristan) is the prologue to the romance of Tristan and Isolde, a dreamlike exploration of Tristan’s young life before he took Princess Isolde of Ireland to Cornwall to marry his uncle, King Mark, and became part of the epic love story that has been told and retold for centuries. The legend comes to life as Elias Bender Rønnenfelt portrays Tristan in abstract, atmospheric live action scenes inspired by Gottfried Von Strassburg’s 13th-century work Tristan, interspersed with historical images, Peyton’s own paintings and watercolors, and video clips. Even Isolde appears in two short clips, representing what’s still missing in Tristan’s life and foreshadowing the more familiar story yet to come.

Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal, Artists, said “It has been said that in the ancient story of Gottfried Von Strassberg’s Tristan and also Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde that Isolde represents the eternal feminine. In that our film Tantris is representing the story of Tristan before his love story with Isolde, what is crucial is that he is missing this eternal feminine - his Isolde. In two brief, re-photographed video clips of the great Waltraud Meier performing Isolde, her acting is so superb it supplies our short film - so concisely - with the aspect it needs to complete the narrative of our foreshadowing of the story to come of Tristan und Isolde.”

Dodie Kazanjian, Gallery Met Director, said, “In a little more than two magical minutes, Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal foreshadow and evoke the ancient legend of Tristan and Isolde. Peyton’s deep immersion in Wagner’s music, the world of opera, and the 19th-century romantic tradition made her the ideal choice for this groundbreaking experiment, in which Gallery Met and Midnight Moment collaborate for the first time.”

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “For 11 years we’ve been working with the Met Opera to bring live screenings of their operas to Times Square, and each year we expand our ambitions for the public's experience. This year, Midnight Moment celebrates medieval tales, the sublime German romanticism and contemporary artistry on the world’s leading technology platforms.”

Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Peyton and Emdal’s concentrated, powerful mashup is an illustrative, cinematic and painterly composition that communicates the universal and timeless human trials of the soul.”

Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “September’s Midnight Moment demonstrates how the Times Square billboards are an unrivaled platform to showcase the work from the many renowned cultural and art institutions of our great city.”

The following digital screens are participating in the September Midnight Moment:

American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127/CNN, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Microsoft Cube and Welcome Center Live Tiles, Morgan Stanley Lights on Broadway, Sherwood Equities 1 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. Past artists featured in the program include Jherek Bischoff; Beau Stanton; Saya Woolfalk; Jennifer Steinkamp; Soundwalk Collective; Lorna Mills; Peter Fischli and David Weiss; Laurie Anderson; Antony Nagelmann; Jesper Just; Shahzia Sikander; Rashaad Newsome; Osgemeos; Eric Dyer; Richard Garet; Andy Warhol; Peggy Ahwesh;  Marco Brambilla; Rafaël Rozendaal; Sebastian Errazuriz; Charles Atlas and Antony; Noah Hutton;  Ryoji Ikeda; Daniel Canogar; Alfredo Jaar; 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:


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. Follow TSAC on twitter at @TSACNYC.

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 the. New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Elizabeth Peyton (born in 1965) studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York. She lives and works in New York. Her work has been acclaimed since the early 1990s, when she began exhibiting her paintings of artists, musicians, historical figures, and friends, which she renders from photographs and from life. In recent years, her range has expanded to take in still lifes, landscapes and scenes from the opera.

Her work has been extensively exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, and is in leading public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Gallery Met, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Gladstone Gallery, New York; and the Hara Museum of Art, Tokyo.

Kristian Emdal (born in 1987) is a musician and visual artist living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Emdal writes and performs music under various monikers including Age Coin, Marching Church and Olymphia. Since 2010 he has performed hundreds of shows across Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia, representing the Copenhagen/Mayhem scene. As part of the performance duo Emdal/Rahbek aka Olymphia, Emdal explores narratives through physical dialogue, incorporating various measures including music, dance and live sculpting. Often working in a cross section between concert theatre and performance, the duo challenges the idea of performance as a fixed time frame and often leaves a visual fingerprint that enables the narrative to continue its own life and dialogue with the site on which it takes place. Emdal has also made a significant contribution to the Copenhagen music scene as a visual artist, especially for the Scandinavian label Posh Isolation. He has created numerous music videos and cover art for label, using his art: film, photography and collage, etc.

The Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented singers, conductors, composers, musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers from around the world. Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has been elevating its theatrical standards by launching a series of initiatives to broaden its reach on a national level and internationally. The Met has made a commitment to presenting modern masterpieces alongside the classic repertory, with highly theatrical productions featuring the greatest opera stars in the world.

Gallery Met
Conceived by General Manager Peter Gelb and Dodie Kazanjian, the founding director and curator, the Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met continues and reaffirms the Met’s long history of groundbreaking relationships with major visual artists—such as Chagall and Hockney—while fostering new opportunities for collaboration. In 2014, the Met expanded its visual arts initiatives with a new series of short films, Gallery Met Shorts, in which celebrated visual artists use animation, video, and film to create original artworks set to music from operas in the Met’s current season. This film is presented in conjunction with the Met’s new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which opens the company’s 2016-17 season beginning September 26.


Media Contacts:

For Times Square Arts:

TJ Witham
212.452.5234 |

Marisa Wayne
212.843.9216 |


Justine DiGiglio
212.205.6632 │