Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Presents John Baldessari Your Name in Lights

The Stedelijk Museum, together with Holland Festival, the leading performing arts festival in the Netherlands, presents Your Name in Lights by renowned American artist John Baldessari. Open 1–26 June 2011.

This extraordinary work, by one of the leading figures associated with Conceptual art, will be installed in Amsterdam’s Museumplein, in front of the forthcoming annex of the Stedelijk Museum (currently under construction). Your Name in Lights will also be available to watch online, via a live stream on the dedicated website. With this dynamic and participatory public artwork, the Stedelijk Museum sets the stage for the Museumplein to be not only the gateway to the renewed museum, but also a major venue for the presentation of contemporary art.

Your Name in Lights gives people the opportunity to experience a glittering 15 seconds of fame by having their names on a giant illuminated sign. Inspired by traditional markers of celebrity, such as the neon lights on Broadway and the marquees of Hollywood cinemas, John Baldessari’s work offers spectators from Amsterdam and all over the world the opportunity for what he has called “entry-level celebrity.” Each registered name will be illuminated for 15 seconds on the 30-meter long L.E.D. sign that will be on view twenty-four hours a day during the exhibition period. People can register online at and will be informed in advance of when their names will appear. Participants are also welcome to register up to four additional names of friends and family at the same time.

Your Name in Lights playfully and provocatively reflects the fixation with celebrity in contemporary culture and recalls Andy Warhol’s oft-quoted statement from 1968, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. “Warhol is so yesterday,” says John Baldessari. “Be a celebrity for 15 seconds! Be a celebrity, a living legend and an idol. Experience the thrill of seeing your name in lights!”

Ann Goldstein, director of the Stedelijk Museum, remarked, “After its hugely successful premiere in Sydney, we are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to present this remarkable work in Amsterdam. Ever precocious, Baldessari invites us to participate in a work that not only gives each of us a moment of individual celebrity, but also an impression of our diversity and community.”

Baldessari’s Your Name in Lights premiered as the 23rd Kaldor Public Art Project in collaboration with the 2011 Sydney Festival. Amsterdam is the second and only other planned location for the presentation of the work.

In a long-term collaboration, the Stedelijk Museum and Holland Festival are presenting a series of art works that span both the visual and performing arts and introduce internationally renowned artists to a broad audience in Amsterdam. The aim is to present works collectively that might not otherwise be seen in the Netherlands.

About John Baldessari
John Baldessari is one of the most significant artists of our time. Throughout his remarkable career, which to date spans over five decades and includes a remarkable oeuvre of paintings, photographs, sculpture, films, video, books and texts, Baldessari has consistently explored the associative power of language. He continues to provocatively challenge the rules and codes of mass-media culture and insightfully illuminate how meaning is produced through visual and written language. A key figure associated with Conceptual art during the 1960s, Baldessari remains one of the most influential and dynamic artists working today.

Baldessari was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 2009 Venice Biennale and was the BACA International laureate of the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht in 2008. To date, he has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions all over the world, including his largest retrospective exhibition to date, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern in London.

To participate in Your Name in Lights, please register online at

John Baldessari’s Your Name in Lights on the Museumplein is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Paulus Potterstraat 13
1071 CX Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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