The Homeless of New York City Wish You All a Happy Holliday, 2005
Some live a life of plenty while others have nothing, not even a home. The project The Homeless of New York City Wish You All a Happy Holiday comments on this social inequality, further highlighting it against the background of Christmastime.
Using large outdoor projections (30m x 30m) the project, quite literally, shed light on these people living in the shadows of society.
40 black-and-white portraits of homeless people were projected onto a wall at the corner of Broadway and Howard Street accompanied by the text: “The Homeless of New York City Wish You All a Merry Christmas”.
The idea of transferring the project to Manhattan seemed obvious since the contrast between people living in penthouses and cardboard boxes is ever-present in this urban space.
Manhattan is a symbol of western wealth and consumerism. In December all this plenty is illuminated by ubiquitous Christmas lights while assorted department stores and phone companies wish everybody a very merry Christmas on the countless city billboards.
The monumental projection of portraits featured in the project The Homeless of New York City Wish You All a Happy Holiday challenges the commercial message of Christmas by reminding us that there are far too many people in New York who want neither a Cashmere sweater nor trinkets from Tiffany’s – but simply a roof over their heads.
The project The Homeless of New York City Wish You All a Happy Holiday highlights this almost absurd social inequality by drawing attention to all the people without a home – giving them a voice and a face.