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On Valentine’s Eve (is that a thing?), Tracey Emin will watch her video piece “I Promise to Love You,” along with the thousands of people that constantly circulate Times Square, as its neon pledges of love scrawl in wavering neon over 15 of Times Square’s giant screens.
“I Promise to Love You” premiered on midnight of February 1 and has been occurring nightly at 11:57pm, but this will be the British artist’s first time to view her piece, which was a joint presentation from the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts.
“Tracey made this animated neon work as a ‘promise to love’ New York,” Sherry Dobbin, director of public art at the Times Square Alliance, says. “I am looking forward to welcoming her to Times Square, and hope that New York and its incredible artists will join her to share in the love.”
The fleeting video installation is part of the Midnight Moment series of brief art takeovers on the advertising screens of Times Square. Emin’s characteristically candid sentiments like “You Have My Soul” and “I Can’t Believe How Much I Loved You” lace in shaking red and blue electric light, quieting for a moment the flurry of advertising with these sentiments proclaimed at the city and the people below. Down on the streets beneath her pulsing signs is another ongoing Valentine’s installation, the Heartwalk by Situ Studios, a heart-shaped, illuminated walkway built from scraps of boardwalks destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
To join Emin and other lovers of art or just love, meet at 11:30 pm at the late Max Neuhaus’ sound sculpture on the south side of 46th Street and Broadway. At 11:57 pm, “I Promise to Love You” will commence and turn Times Square into a “visual valentine” until the clock strikes midnight and the annual holiday of love begins. And who knows, maybe if Emin is up to it, she’ll tell you all about all the people she slept with last century.
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