Obstructed Love

When Love Clashes with Politics

On Sun­day, I con­vened with my agent and the friend respon­si­ble for orga­niz­ing spon­sors. In a depar­ture from using logos on the bill­board, we opt­ed for fea­tur­ing names and URLs sep­a­rat­ed by hearts. This final adjust­ment marked the com­ple­tion of the art­work for the printer.

Regret­tably, the wire trans­fer for the funds did not go through before the week­end, result­ing in the print­ing being denied on Sun­day. How­ev­er, if the funds were to arrive by Mon­day morn­ing, they assured us that the bill­board could be pre­pared by Mon­day afternoon.

After Meet­ing with my Agent and the Spon­sors we found a nice way of inte­grat­ing them.

Lat­er that evening, I met up with my close friend, the singer-song­writer Lar­ry Edoff, to col­lab­o­rate on a song. Inspired by the «We Are the World» con­cept, I pro­posed cre­at­ing a sim­i­lar song to com­ple­ment our project. With numer­ous renowned musi­cians resid­ing in New York, we felt com­pelled to reach out and seek their sup­port. Though we could­n’t final­ize the song that night due to time con­straints, Lar­ry ded­i­cat­ed his efforts after­ward, com­pos­ing and record­ing this exquis­ite piece.

Don’t walk away from Love

von Lar­ry Edoff

Unforeseen Hurdles: Love’s Struggle for Visibility

On Mon­day, I anx­ious­ly await­ed updates from my agent regard­ing the arrival of the funds and news from the print­er. At noon, my agent deliv­ered dis­ap­point­ing news: the bill­board had been reject­ed by the rental com­pa­ny. Appar­ent­ly, the bill­board own­ers› pol­i­cy pro­hib­it­ed the dis­play of polit­i­cal state­ments, deem­ing phras­es like «World» and «Love» too polit­i­cal­ly charged for 42nd Street. This rev­e­la­tion blind­sided me entirely.

After invest­ing so much time and effort, to be denied at the final hur­dle was both unex­pect­ed and pro­found­ly dis­heart­en­ing. The fact that «LOVE» was deemed too polit­i­cal left me feel­ing frus­trat­ed and angry. Ini­tial­ly, I enter­tained thoughts of tak­ing legal action against the bill­board com­pa­ny for infring­ing on free­dom of speech. How­ev­er, upon the coun­sel of my friends, I decid­ed to take a step back, sleep on it, and make a deci­sion the fol­low­ing day. It was a sober­ing real­iza­tion that there is no absolute free­dom of speech on bill­boards, as they are pri­vate­ly owned.

That evening, as George W. Bush deliv­ered his speech and issued his final ulti­ma­tum, I could­n’t help but reflect on the missed oppor­tu­ni­ty. The tim­ing would have been per­fect, but unfor­tu­nate­ly, there were exter­nal forces beyond my con­trol that pre­vent­ed the bill­board from materializing.

G.W. Bush Announc­ing the last ultimatum

Navigating Setbacks: Reflections and Next Steps

The fol­low­ing day, I con­tin­ued my search for alter­na­tive spaces and opt­ed against imme­di­ate­ly approach­ing the press. Instead, we con­clud­ed that it would be more pru­dent to first focus on mak­ing the project a real­i­ty before seek­ing media cov­er­age. I reached out to oth­er bill­board rental com­pa­nies to obtain new quotes. They expressed sur­prise at the pre­vi­ous rejec­tion and were eager to assist in find­ing a new loca­tion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, all avail­able spots were already claimed.

Even­tu­al­ly, we iden­ti­fied a promis­ing loca­tion on 47th Street, albeit only avail­able on May 1st. Despite the delay, the spot was high­ly appeal­ing, and I made the deci­sion to post­pone with the hope that even a month lat­er, the project would still attract sig­nif­i­cant publicity.

The new loca­tion on 47th Street and 7th Avenue

Turns out, this loca­tion was all­ready used before for a sim­il­iar Art Project. I found this image after­wards on the web, but nev­er found the page again. So I can’t cred­it the project. I must asume it was by Yoko Ono.