The NYC AIDS Memorial Launches #LightTheFight with Jenny Holzer on World AIDS Day 2018
The NYC AIDS Memorial is pleased to announce #LightTheFight, an interactive art experience which will take place on World AIDS Day, Saturday December 1, 2018. #LightTheFight, a collaboration with world-renowned visual artist Jenny Holzer, will kick off with an interactive ceremony and performance at dusk (4:30pm EST) at the New York City AIDS Memorial Park in the heart of the West Village, corner of W 12th St & Greenwich Avenue.
Following the ceremony, a fleet of five trucks emblazoned with LED signs will begin a journey through the city displaying a series of quotes that convey the impact, history, and ongoing battle against the AIDS epidemic worldwide. Selected and presented by Holzer, the writings by poets, activists, artists, educators, and people living with HIV and AIDS span a range of emotions from sorrow and fury to endurance and transcendence. The texts will be animated in black and white, with the occasional burst of color to amplify the messages and add emphasis.
The procession of mobile LED billboards will drive through the city lingering at various historically significant sites and areas including The LGBT Community Center, Harlem, Times Square, the Hudson River Piers near Christopher Street, and the Meatpacking District—now home to the Whitney Museum of American Art. The public is encouraged to observe the installation at one of its many stops and share their experience on social media using the #LightTheFight hashtag.
#LightTheFight marks the inaugural launch of the NYC AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative. The initiative will support interactive, experiential, digital, and site-specific educational and arts programming and will further the Memorial’s aim to honor the more than 100,000 people who have died from AIDS in New York City and the tens of millions more who have died throughout the world.
Speaking about her involvement in the project, Jenny Holzer said:
On the launch of the NYC AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative, Chairperson of the Board of Directors Keith Fox said: “With the NYC AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative, we will continue to honor the men, women, and children who have died of AIDS and to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of caregivers and activists who have devoted their lives to this cause. We’re thrilled to be able to launch this important initiative with a truly powerful and engaging art experience like #LightTheFight, and we’re extremely thankful for Jenny’s contribution to the initiative.”
The #LightTheFight experience would not be possible without the help of the NYC AIDS Memorial’s community partners including The LGBT Community Center, The Poetry Society of America, Lyft, The Ford Foundation, Lewis Miller Design, West Village Chorale and sponsorship from Gilead Sciences, Inc.
“I’m working on #LightTheFight
because the fight against AIDS continues. It’s crucial to maintain awareness that the AIDS epidemic is
live, in New York and around the world. The messages on the trucks’ screens, contributed by feeling
people, could comfort those affected by AIDS and reignite fires in bellies to end AIDS forever.”
About The NYC AIDS Memorial:
Founded as a grass-roots advocacy effort in early 2011, the NYC AIDS Memorial organization is now a 501(c)3 corporation, with an 18-person Board of Directors, chaired by Keith Fox.
The Memorial sits at the gateway to a new public park adjacent to the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, which housed the City’s first and largest AIDS ward and became the symbolic epicenter of the disease through depictions in The Normal Heart, Angels in America, and other important pieces of literature and art that tell the story of the plague years in New York. The park site is also a block from the LGBT Community Center on 13th Street, where ACT-UP and other AIDS advocacy/support groups first organized, and it sits within blocks of the first headquarters of GMHC and the office of a doctor on W. 12th Street that Lambda Legal successfully prevented from being evicted for treating early AIDS patients. Furthermore, the site is highly visible, accessible, and surrounded by amenities for visitors. For all these reasons, New York City officially named the new park that houses the memorial the “New York City AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle.”
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