Inspired by First Hand Interviews, the Artist’s Second Midnight Moment Brings to Life Dreams of a Sustainable Future
Ezra Wube. Possible World Video Still. Courtesy of the artist, Little Sun, and Times Square Arts.
(NEW YORK, NY — August 30, 2021) — Times Square Arts, the largest public platform for contemporary performance and visual arts, is pleased to present Possible World by Ezra Wube for the month of September as part of the organization’s signature Midnight Moment series in partnership with Little Sun, the nonprofit organization founded by artist Olafur Eliasson that works to deliver affordable clean energy and inspire climate action. Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on over 75 electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight.
Possible World (2021) is a painted animation by Ethiopian artist Ezra Wube, inspired by interviews conducted with over 100 individuals across Ethiopia. In a series of beautiful and dynamic scenes, Wube brings to life his subjects’ dreams for a sustainable world, starting with existing practices that benefit both communities and the environment. Wube presents this vibrant collective vision to audiences around the world as a model for our shared, interconnected future.
“Growing up in a country where over 80% of the population's livelihood depends on agriculture—mostly rain-fed—its socioeconomic dependency is extremely vulnerable to the rapid climate change we are facing. I chose to explore the subject as a means to investigate and learn about these conditions, and to have a communal dialogue of possible solutions. I’m inspired in creating work through community engagement where individuals' voices can be a potential catalyst for actions to develop a sustainable world,” said Ezra Wube.
In the context of Times Square, Possible World takes on an added meaning, asking the audience to meditate on a more sustainable future for New York City, a coastal city particularly susceptible to climate change. Also coinciding with Climate Week NYC from September 20-26, Possible World is a means to investigate these conditions, and to foster a communal dialogue for environmental solutions.
Possible World is part of Fast Forward, Little Sun’s series of short films exploring five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world, which is also available to view on digital video channel NOWNESS. The series turns an often data-driven and technically heavy conversation surrounding the global energy crisis into an open, intimate dialogue, creating accessible stories and new motivation for change. Watch the full Fast Forward series at littlesun.org/fastforward.
“If we are to take meaningful action to protect our planet, we need positive, hopeful visions of the world to come,” said Little Sun founder Olafur Eliassion. “Art can help us conceive of alternative, more-than-human approaches to the climate crisis. Little Sun’s Fast Forward film series offers a vital new space for artists to reimagine the future.”
This is Ezra’s second presentation through the Midnight Moment program, following his 2013 presentation of At the Same Moment, an animated love letter to New York City that celebrated the power of imagination through a vibrant collection of memories of his daily journey throughout the city.
ABOUT EZRA WUBE
Ezra Wube (b. 1980) is a mixed-media artist raised in Ethiopia and currently living and working in Brooklyn. Wube’s work references the notion of past and present, the constant changing of place, and the dialogical tensions between ‘here’ and ‘there.’ Wube is a veteran of Times Square’s Midnight Moment series, and his exhibition City Stories was recently on view at The High Line, NYC. His work has been shown at the Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, South Korea; Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY; the 13th Biennial de Lyon, Lyon, France; Dak’Art 2014 Biennale, Dakar, Senegal; the 18th International Festival of Contemporary Art SESC_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil. His residencies and awards include LMCC Workspace Residency Program, the Drawing Center, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Triangle Arts Association Residency, all in New York. Wube received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from Hunter College.
ABOUT LITTLE SUN
Established in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun is a nonprofit organization working to deliver affordable clean energy and inspire climate action. Little Sun distributes energy tools, designs and implements renewable energy programs, and leads citizen engagement campaigns globally, partnering with solar experts, artists, companies, governments, communities and nonprofits to achieve universal access to clean energy. Little Sun has helped provide power and light to over 3.2 million people who would not otherwise have access to it. Their work has reduced 800,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and saved households living beyond the energy grid $150 million in energy expenses. Little Sun has offices in New York, Berlin, Addis Ababa, and Lusaka.
ABOUT TIMES SQUARE ARTS
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, such as Mel Chin, Tracey Emin, Jeffrey Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Yoko Ono, and Kehinde Wiley, 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.
Senior Account Executive, Cultural Counsel
Account Coordinator, Cultural Counsel