Creative Time is honored to have presented VIGIL, a series of light projections by Jenny Holzer. Employing her signature text-based practice, Holzer projected testimonies, responses, and poems by people confronting the everyday reality of gun violence onto the iconic buildings at Rockefeller Center after sundown. These hauntingly sober first-person accounts served both as an acknowledgement of communities impacted by gun violence and an invitation for dialogue around the prevalence of this issue in the United States. Holzer featured texts from the compilation Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, stories from Moments that Survive collected by Everytown for Gun Safety, and poems by teens who have grown up in the shadow of mass shootings.
VIGIL was Creative Time’s third collaboration with Holzer. From 2004–2005, Creative Time presented For New York City: Planes and Projections and For the City, a two-part project that featured Holzer’s texts flown in the sky and projected onto various NYC landmarks, including Rockefeller Center. Holzer was also one of 25 artists who participated in The 42nd Street Art Project in 1993, which transformed Manhattan’s historic West 42nd Street into a dynamic, around-the-clock public art exhibition.
Returning to Jenny Holzer’s illuminating body of work, VIGIL offered a moment to reflect on the past and look forward to the notion of a collective future.