Black and white illustration of a policeman walking on top of a crowd of peaceful protestors holding signs
Illustration: Sue Coe. Courtesy the artist and Art at a Time Like This

Featuring Work by World-Class Artists, These Billboards Advertise Activism

A new public art exhibition displays creatives’ ideas about America’s current state of affairs.
By Aileen Kwun
October 10, 2020
1 minute read

Museums and galleries are reopening in New York, and one of the most compelling shows of the season is primed to take place en plein air. Organized by the nonprofit Art at a Time Like This, in collaboration with Save Art Space, “Ministry of Truth: 1984–2020” will reclaim a common component of the city’s visual real estate—the billboard—to display works by an international range of artists, including Dread Scott, Deborah Kass, Marilyn Minter, and Shirin Neshat. Named in reference to George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel, the project, curated by Carmen Hermo, Jerome Lamaar, Sophia Marisa Lucas, Larry Ossei-Mensah, Barbara Pollack, and Anne Verhallen, commissioned each artist to comment on the current polarized state of U.S. politics—“just in time for the election,” the curators note. In all, there will be 20 artworks displayed on 20 billboards throughout the city’s five boroughs and online. Half of the selected works come from an open call, held earlier this year, that yielded more than 1,200 submissions. Opening Oct. 12, the exhibition is a reminder for us all, in this strange and precarious time in American history, to always look up.