It’s a simple but brilliant idea – show the face of a man yawning and you might just yawn yourself. This is the idea behind Sebastian Errazuriz’s new installation in Times Square, A Pause in the City That Never Sleeps. Each night in January, from 11:57pm to midnight, Times Square’s electronic billboards will show a continuous yawn on a loop. On Saturday, January 17th, you can join the artist at 11:45pm on Duffy Square for a special gathering where all are encouraged to join in on a massive yawn.
Advertising screens fill with an omnipresent head looking dawn from the skies to the people passing beneath. Since yawn are contagious, the masses of people looking up at the screens will inadvertently feel like they will have to stop and yawn. As the yawning masses move through the city, they’ll now unconsciously carry their contagious message with them, spreading this moment of pause throughout the city.
Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “The beauty of Sebastian Errazuriz’s piece is its attempt to induce a contagious moment of calm and pause at the otherwise bustling crossroads of Times Square. That juxtaposition is sure to be powerful for all who have the chance to see it. We will see how the largest digital display of yawns in history will affect the city that never sleeps.”