Go See – Amsterdam – John Baldessari’s “Your Name in Lights” through June 26th

June 24th, 2011

Holland Festival and the Stedelijk Museum presents Your Name In Lights; a public installation on Amsterdam’s Museumplein by renown conceptualist and multimedia artist John Baldessari. A 30 meters long L.E.D. sign is set up 15 meters above the Museumplein from June 1st to 26nd, giving people the opportunity to briefly experience the sensation of being a celebrity.

More text and images after the jump…

Just by registering a name on www.yournameinlights.nl, every individual gets the chance to be famous for 15 seconds by having their name lid up on the screen that looks inspired by the glamour on Broadway. The Stedelijk Museum, currently under construction, expects 120.000 people to participate. There is a live web streaming on the website, which makes it not necessary to be located in Amsterdam to register and see your name in lights.

With Your Name In Lights Baldessari demonstrates Warhol’s prediction from 1968, that everybody in the future will experience 15 minutes of fame, is only partially true. Baldessari states that “the amount of time people get to be a celebrity is less and less and incidentally the average amount of time a museum visitor gives to a painting is something like 7 seconds. We all have attention deficit disorder, I think.” With Your Name In Lights, Baldessari combines Andy Warhols “15 minutes of fame” with the invention of interactive media and its consequences on people’s desires to be known. Additionally Baldessari makes it quite easy for us to reach the top with his illuminating installation. Unfortunately this top is no higher than 15 meters, lasts for 15 seconds and is a place shared with 120.000 other individuals.

Baldessari, celebrating his 80th birthday this month, is known to reflect political and social movements in his conceptual art since his recognition as an artist in the sixties. His noticeable piece in Amsterdam asks the public to have fun, but there is also a well considered message underneath that critiques the fast way of behaving in Western society, as well as the obsessive thinking about celebrities. Your Name In Lights falls in line with, and is a great addition to Baldessari’s oeuvre of influential conceptual art.

-M. Ouwerkerk

Related Links:

Exhibition Page: [Your Name in Lights]
Stedelijk Museum: [Stedelijk]
Holland Festival: [Holland]
John Baldessari – Your Name in Lights: [Art Report]
John Baldessari: Your Name in Lights [Sydney Festival]