In the lead up to the opening of the New York City AIDS MemorialSurface spoke with notable cultural figures who experienced the height of the crisis. Jenny Holzer turned excerpts from those interviews into a new series of artworks projected on the city's buildings.

Paige Powell
Photographer

It was almost like a war, like this invisible war. It wasn’t as if someone had been shot and killed, or mortally wounded and died right away. It just went on and on with people trying to hide it from others. They were suffering; they had to hide their suffering. You were so helpless to do something. There was this feeling that you’re going down a well, and there was so much rejection and fear, but on the other hand, there was so much hope. You really hope: They’re going to make it, they can break through this, that they had to find a vaccination. But very little money was going into it—we were all very aware of that—and the federal government did not want to deal with it. It took a terrible toll on the creative world in New York.

View the full collaboration here: Reflecting on AIDS: Jenny Holzer in Collaboration with Surface

Artwork by Jenny Holzer
©2016 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photos: Dani Vernon