What’s the deal with the orange fence things in Times Square?

times square fence

Pose for a picture inside the orange fences in Times Square

If you’ve walked through Times Square this week, you may have noticed an installation of orange framed cutouts in seemingly inexplicable places around 43rd street. The cutouts appear to be in the shape of human beings taking different poses, making it perfect for the thousands of passersby to hop right in the middle of it all for an unusual photo of which they will fondly look back upon while reminiscing about that trip to Manhattan. All in all, it’s pretty cool.

But what’s the deal? What are these odd orange things and why are they smack-dab in the middle of Times Square? What does it all mean?

orange fence 3

The orange framed cutouts are shaped like human silhouettes

As it turns out, these orange fence things are an exhibition called Nearness by Arles del Rio, hosted by Times Square Arts. Per the Times Square official website:

These panels invite participants to get close and even step through, representing metaphorically the social, political, cultural and personal barriers, among others, that may keep us away from one another.

And so there you have it. Next time you’re at a party and someone remarks “Hey, how about those weird orange fence things in Times Square,” you’ll be quick to respond “Yeah, they’re a metaphor about the social and political barriers that exist in the world today. Nuts, right?” Get ready to impress all of your friends.


Nearness exhibition location and times:

July 8-19, 2014
Broadway plaza between 43rd & 44th Streets

July 20 – August 1, 2014
Broadway plaza between 42nd & 43rd Streets

August 2 – 9, 2014
Broadway plaza between 43rd & 44th Streets

August 10 – 18, 2014
Duffy Square at Broadway & 46th Street 


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