View Full Version : The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision

May 25th, 2003, 09:53 PM

Video Portraits
Unseen in the United States until now, Thomas Struth's Video Portraits (1996–2002) are being shown in an installation designed by the artist for the Museum's entrance hall, or Great Hall. In these mesmerizing works, the artist shows the heads and shoulders of friends and colleagues gazing calmly at the camera, and by extension, at us; they are steady and unmoving except for occasional blinks of the eyelids and other small, involuntary muscular events, and such subtleties as the fading of the day's light, the gentle lift of a strand of hair in a passing breeze, and other initially imperceptible occurrences. Measuring twelve feet high and sixteen feet across, the monumental portraits are in perfect scale with the grand architecture of the hall and function as uncannily lifelike frescoes, greeting museum-goers and awakening their own act of looking before they enter the galleries. Reducing the entire vocabulary of art to its simplest premise—to look, to see, and to reflect—the video portraits invite discernment, receptivity, and calm consideration. Struth's beautifully restrained use of the medium combines the contemplative stasis of painting with photography's embrace of the fleet and the quotidian.

The final minute from four of these portraits can also be seen on the last minute of each hour until May 18 as part of the series The 59th Minute: Video Art on the Times Square Astrovision. The 59th Minute is presented by Creative Time and sponsored by Panasonic.

The Video Portraits installation is made possible by anonymous donors.


As a part of Creative Time's history of bringing new and timely art to public places, we are partnering with Panasonic to sponsor The 59th Minute: Video Art on the NBC Astrovision by Panasonic in Times Square. Videos are airing the last minute of every hour of the Astrovision programming day (6am-1am) with the exception of two daily preemptions for NBC's Today Show and Nightly News.

Like all of Creative Time's public projects, our goal is to offer a new opportunity to present artists' work, as well as bring innovative art to Times Square. As demonstrated by the transformation of the 42nd Street area, contemporary culture is stimulated by the spectacle of moving images. This program represents a rare opportunity for video art to be viewed by the public within the context of the most exciting center of media culture in the world.

Opening on Febuary 4th - May 18th: Thomas Struth