Times Square’s October Midnight Moment:
Voir la mer
October 1–31, 2017
Every night | 11:57 pm – midnight
October’s Midnight Moment Will Open Your Eyes to the Sea
(New York, N.Y.) September 18, 2017 – In partnership with French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) as part of Crossing the Line Festival 2017, Times Square Arts presents artist Sophie Calle’s Voir la mer on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in October. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.
In Istanbul, a city surrounded by the sea, Sophie Calle met people who had never seen the water. Voir la mer silently reveals their emotional response to the experience of visiting the seashore for the first time, as they stared at the edge of the Black Sea before turning around. Magnified on Times Square’s electronic billboards, five of these intimate video portraits evoke the universal power and poetry of watching the infinite.
Sophie Calle, Artist, said, “I took them to the shore of the Black Sea. They came to the water’s edge, separately, eyes lowered, closed, or masked. I was behind them. I asked them to look out to the sea and then to turn back towards me to show me these eyes that had just seen it for the first time.”
Lili Chopra, Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of FIAF and co-curator of the Crossing the Line Festival, said: “One of France’s most iconic artists, Sophie Calle’s portraits of men, women, and children seeing the sea for the first time are a poignantly beautiful reflection on the universality of emotion. They connect us all on a deeply human level.”
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “As part of the Midnight Moment program, Voir la mer fosters quiet, reflective moments within the fast pace of Times Square.”
Debra Simon, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Sophie Calle’s soulful work connects the personal to the universal, writ large across the electronic billboards of Times Square.”
Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “This month, we’re delighted to partner with FIAF and Crossing the Line Festival to display such an evocative global Midnight Moment from renowned artist Sophie Calle. Her work, Voir la mer, captures on film the intimate moments of people seeing and experiencing the Black Sea for the first time ever.”
Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “With the end of summer looming over us, artist Sophie Calle will bring the calm and delightful sensation of the ocean right to the heart of Times Square.”
The following digital screens are participating in the October Midnight Moment:
American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Microsoft Cube and Welcome Center Live Tiles, Morgan Stanley, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, SILVERCAST Digital Spectacular – Times Square, Superior Digital Displays Crossroads of the World, Triple Play on 7th Ave & The Waterfall on 42nd St.
About Midnight Moment
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. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.
Past artists featured in the program include Ben Lebovitz; MSHR; Sun Xun; Alex Prager; Joshua Frankel; Naoko Tosa; Matteo Zamagni; Alex Da Corte; Pipilotti Rist; Tal Yarden; Emilio Perez; Tim Etchells; Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal; 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: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/index.aspx
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. www.timessquareadcoalition.org. 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 http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/index.aspx for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.
Since the late 1970s, Sophie Calle (b. 1953) has made work that investigates provocative and often controversial methods for confronting her emotional and psychological life. Her work has been shown in international venues including Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture (San Francisco), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), the Museum Boymans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk), and the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo). Calle has a major one-person exhibition at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris, opening October 2017. Her twenty-five-year-long public installation, entitled Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery, is currently on view at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Sophie Calle was the recipient of the 2010 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography and the International Center of Photography’s 2017 Infinity Award for Art. For more information about the artist, visit https://www.paulacoopergallery.com/artists/sophie-calle/selected-works and follow Paula Cooper Gallery on Instagram at @paulacoopergallery and on Twitter at @paulacoopergal.
French Institute Alliance Française
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York’s premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org
Crossing the Line Festival
The Crossing the Line Festival, now in its eleventh year, is an annual citywide festival that engages international artists and New York City audiences in discovery and dialogue to re-imagine the world around us. The festival is produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions. This year’s edition of the festival takes place from September 6–October 15, 2017. For more information, visit www.crossingthelinefestival.org.