About the Project

On Valentine’s Day 2010, Creative Time presented Ralf and Jeanette, a short one-time-only, outdoor theatrical “action.” Written and directed by Spanish artists Bestué-Vives, this romantic and whimsical play was performed on a bustling sidewalk in Times Square. Over the course of only ten minutes, the male and female characters—as well as the two actors playing them—met for the first time, fell in love, and broke up, among the unrelenting pedestrian traffic.


Subtle and camouflaged, this quiet performance was not immediately apparent to passersby, as the actors appeared to be a normal couple and the dialogue revealed no inconsistencies with quotidian conversation. Above the actors, on MTV’s “44 1⁄2” outdoor digital screen, the play’s dialogue was projected in time with the action, evoking a silent movie brought to life.


The performance referenced the “temporal compression” that one often experiences in Times Square, a place where the acceleration of the city is almost palpable and information is conveyed at rapid speeds through the digital billboards that blanket the streetscape.


Photograph by Sam Horine





Ralf and Jeanette

Times Square



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