Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight.
Midnight Moment is visible on screens from 49th – 42nd Streets in the Times Square bowtie. Prime viewing locations are Duffy Square between 46th and 47th Streets and Military island between 43rd and 44th Streets.
Now based in London, the world-renowned sonic and visual artist Christian Marclay lived and worked in New York City for over two decades, including a period at a studio in Times Square. In 2016, Marclay created a series of short, stop-motion videos documenting categories of trash he encountered on the street, including cigarette butts, cotton swabs, plastic straws, and chewing gum.
As October’s Midnight Moment, Marclay’s Chewing Gum (2016) elevates garbage to new heights, finding beauty in the crude and ubiquitous gum that blots the pavement. Sequencing countless still photographs into hypnotic animation, squashed gum wads divide, unite, and dance across sidewalk cracks. Marclay takes a playfully literal approach to street photography by portraying his chance encounters with the street itself.
“I’m giving back to the street what came from the street and transforming trash into poetry. The street is always a great source of inspiration, it’s where I take most of my photographs. Showing the gritty sidewalk come to life at a spectacular scale and giving the small, spitted trash a new status is exciting. Maybe the viewer won’t look at the sidewalk in the same way again.”
Chewing Gum is presented in partnership with Paula Cooper Gallery on the occasion of Christian Marclay’s solo exhibition at the gallery from September 12 through October 19, 2019. The exhibition includes the North American premiere of Marclay’s new major single-channel video work, 48 War Movies (2019), which was first shown in May 2019 at the International Art Exhibition of the 58th Venice Biennale.
“The projection of Christian Marclay’s Chewing Gum in Times Square will transform the banal into the spectacular, refocusing the wandering attention of the city dweller to familiar but overlooked details.”
— Paula Cooper Gallery
Christian Marclay (b. 1955, San Rafael, CA) is known for his innovative work combining collage, sound recording, photography, video, film, sculpture and performance. Marclay has had important one-person exhibitions at international institutions including Kunsthaus Zurich, MCA Chicago, SFMOMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow, Aargauer Kunsthaus, and Sapporo Art Park, among many others. Marclay received the Golden Lion award at the 54th Venice Biennale for his 24-hour virtuosic video piece The Clock. Since then, the work has been seen by tens of thousands of viewers at prestigious venues around the world, including at a current presentation at Tate Modern in London. Marclay currently lives and works in London.
Paula Cooper Gallery, the first art gallery in SoHo, opened in 1968 with an exhibition to benefit the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. For over fifty years, the gallery’s artistic agenda has remained focused on, though not limited to, conceptual and minimal art. In 1996, the gallery moved to Chelsea to occupy an award-winning redesigned 19th century building. In 1999, Paula Cooper opened a second exhibition space at 521 West 21st Street. In fall 2018, the gallery temporarily relocated its primary space to 524 West 26th Street. Beyond its immediate artistic program, the gallery has regularly hosted concerts, music symposia, dance performances, book receptions, and poetry readings, as well as art exhibitions and special events to benefit various national and community organizations.
Photo by Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.