#LightTheFight

Watch out for glowing black trucks this World AIDS Day

Art East On View
Visual artist Jenny Holzer will unveil a set of trucks carrying LED-messages in honor of World AIDS Day. A previous project, VOTE YOUR FUTURE, modified buses across Los Angeles. (Jenny Holzer)
Visual artist Jenny Holzer will unveil a set of trucks carrying LED-messages in honor of World AIDS Day. A previous project, VOTE YOUR FUTURE, modified buses across Los Angeles. (Jenny Holzer)

In honor of World AIDS Day, renowned conceptual artist Jenny Holzer will release a mobile exhibition that will shine a light on the history and current impact of the AIDS epidemic. This December 1, a fleet of five, pitch black trucks featuring LED signs will embark on a journey around the city, showcasing quotes by poets, artists, educators, activists, and people living with HIV and AIDS.

The installation, #LightTheFight, is curated by Holzer in partnership with the NYC AIDS Memorial, a project she completed in 2016 that features a series of granite paving stones engraved with Walt Whitman’s 1855 poem Song of Myself. Studio AI designed a white, angular pavilion to house the memorial. The roving billboard project, another text-based artwork by Holzer, signals the launch of the memorial’s Arts and Education Initiative which will bring immersive programming to the city.

IT IS GUNS Jenny Holzer

#LightTheFight will be similar to Holzer’s IT IS GUNS exhibition, which featured a series of black-painted trucks emblazoned with LED signs. (Courtesy Jenny Holzer)

“It’s crucial to maintain awareness that the AIDS epidemic is live, in New York and around the world,” said Holzer in a statement. “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.”

After an interactive ceremony and performance at the memorial site, the trucks will drive up and down Manhattan, animating the special words in black and white with an occasional burst of color to stress the messages on screen. Holzer told The New York Times that the texts will feature a variety of sentiments from tenderness to grief.

Jenny Holzer VOTE YOUR FUTURE

This month in Los Angeles, Holzer released a set of red tourist buses painted black to spread the word on voting in this week’s midterm elections. (Courtesy Jenny Holzer)

Throughout the night, the trucks will make pit stops at historically significant locations and sites such as the LGBT Community Center, Times Square, Hudson River Piers near Christopher Street, and the Meatpacking District. At each location, signature condoms designed by Ms. Holzer will be distributed along with educational material on HIV, AIDS, and LGBT rights.

#LightTheFight isn’t the first motor vehicle-based installation Holzer has created. IT IS GUNS debuted earlier this year in New York and Washington, D.C., in protest of gun violence. Leading up to the midterm elections this week, Holzer put together a series of tourist buses in Los Angeles, encouraging people to vote.

Learn more about #LightTheFight here.

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