On the first day of December, a fleet of trucks illuminating the words of activists, poets, artists, educators and people living with H.I.V. and AIDS will travel through the city, competing with the billboards, neon and other distractions, in a mobile art exhibition for World AIDS Day.
The interactive experience, on LED screens, was created by the artist Jenny Holzer in collaboration with the New York City AIDS Memorial as part of “#LightTheFight,” a ceremony and performance that starts at dusk at the AIDS Memorial park in the West Village. The five trucks will begin their journey there.
“It’s crucial to maintain awareness that the AIDS epidemic is live, in New York and around the world,” Ms. Holzer said in a statement. “The messages on the trucks’ screens, contributed by feeling people, could comfort those affected by AIDS and reignite fires in bellies to end AIDS forever.”
The texts to be displayed on the LED screens were selected by the artist to represent a variety of responses to AIDS.
“We wanted to make a complete presentation, or as close as anyone can, to include everything from love text on a love truck to enormously sad, tragic, furious writing on other trucks,” Ms. Holzer said by phone. “We will have tenderness as well as grief,” she added.
The quotes will appear in largely black and white animations. Flashes of color will occasionally appear to add emphasis.
The trucks will proceed to several historically significant areas nearby, including the L.G.B.T. Community Center on West 13th Street and the Hudson River piers near Christopher Street. Condoms created by Ms. Holzer for “#LightTheFight” will be distributed at each stop, along with educational material.
Ms. Holzer is known for her text-based, politically inflected work, often displayed on screens or projected onto buildings. Writing about Ms. Holzer’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009, Roberta Smith, the co-chief art critic of The New York Times, said that she “has infused Conceptual Art’s playful language with real-life seriousness and has put words in Minimalism’s sleek mouth.”
Earlier this year, Ms. Holzer created an installation using a black truck painted with various statements related to gun violence. The truck made stops at sites including the White House.
“#LightTheFight” is the first event by the nonprofit New York City AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative.
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