Like any self-respecting New Yorker, I stay the fuck out of Times Square. However, if there was ever a reason to take a brief journey into the tourist-friendly, advertising wasteland, it’s Tracey Emin.
Tracey Emin’s I Promise to Love You comes to Times Square this month as part of Midnight Moment, presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts. From February 1st through the 28th fans of Emin’s work can see six of her neon signs take over more than 40 screens of advertising space in Times Square each night from 11:57 to Midnight.
If Louise Bourgeois is the mother of Confessional Art, Tracey Emin is its slightly disturbed, punk rock daughter. Her previous work includes a tent appliquéd with the names of everyone she’s ever slept with (Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, 1995 ) and an installation piece which included her own bed littered with liquor bottles and cigarette butts (My Bed, 1998).
Emin’s neon works are less confrontational and explore a more vulnerable and poetic side of the artist. The pieces reveal themselves on the screens as if Emin is writing them herself. ‘When I hold you I hold your heart,’ reads one. Another, ‘I listen to the ocean and all I hear is you.’ Emin has said she knows when the pieces are right when the writing reminds her of a song lyric, “as if I’d heard it before, but I haven’t.”
For I Promise to Love You times and viewing locations visit Times Square Alliance : Midnight Moment: Tracey Emin.