In 1987, artist Alfredo Jaar’s A Logo For America lit up above Times Square every six minutes for an entire month. The words “THIS IS NOT AMERICA” would appear over an outline of the United States, “THIS IS NOT AMERICA’S FLAG” would flash over the U.S. flag, and then “AMERICA” would flash, with an outline of the entire North and South American continents.
Next month, it’s back. This time, the video work will only flash for three minutes before midnight, just like the other glowing artworks that had briefly replaced advertisements in Times Square including Robert Wilson’s video portraits and Tracey Emin’s neon hearts.
The work will run throughout the month of August, thanks to the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts, in collaboration with the Guggenheim, who wrote:
A Logo for America features the words “This is not America” emblazoned across the flag and outline of the United States; Jaar thereby denounces the erroneous application of the name America to just one part of the American continent. Originally displayed in Times Square in 1987, the 2014 iteration underscores that, almost thirty years later, the representation of an entire continent is still monopolized by the same, single country.
(Image via Diario Latercera)