Alfredo Jaar, A Logo for America

Critics' pick

Times Square was very different in 1987 when Alfredo Jaar's animated short, A Logo for America, premiered on the Spectacolor board that once hung high over the Crossroads of the World. How different? The sign used lightbulbs to create a sequence in which the words this is not america flashed over an outline of the continental United States—the point being that the U.S. is simply one of many countries comprising America and only our arrogance makes us think otherwise. What's more or less the same, however, is that that sense of self-importance remains intact 30 years on and has arguably gotten worse. So what better time to stage a revival of Jaar's piece, spread over five blocks of Times Square signs (with the lightbulbs replaced by digital technology). As part of the Midnight Moment series, the work will play every night from 11:57pm to midnight until the end of August.

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