On June 29, 1969 police unexpectedly and brutally raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City. After years and years of violent discrimination, the LGTBQ+ community decided to fight back and organised protests. Within weeks, the Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested. The illimitable importance of these events is yearly celebrated during NYC gay pride that started happening a year after the happening, which also took place in LA, SF and Chicago.
They did the math for you, this June is the 50th birthday of the riots. To commemorate the actions which are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, amongst a plethora of things, the WorldPride will take place in New York City, and the Public Art Fund will present a Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s billboard. The late artist is no stranger to this blog, one can read more about his highly conceptual installation work here, and here.
The Cuban born, American artist Felix Gonzalez Torres also created conceptual public art in the form of billboards. The same billboard will be presented as the one for the 20th anniversary: his audacious work reads: “People With AIDS Coalition 1985 Police Harassment 1969 Oscar Wilde 1895 Supreme Court 1986 Harvey Milk 1977 March on Washington 1987 Stonewall Rebellion 1969.” He simply presented 7 critical moments of LGTBQ+ history. The work will be situated in its original location, on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Christopher Street, above Village Cigars and steps away from the Stonewall Inn. So during the pride, probably millions of people will see his work.
The director of the Public Art Fund Nicholas Baume told ArtNews: “We’re 30 years further removed from those dates. It’s an opportunity to reflect on history and the struggles, the individuals, the movements, the activism, the bravery, the risks, the challenges. Those layers are woven into the work.”
So for the people in NYC, pics plz.