For Rachel Lee Hovnanian, the 2021 holiday season is a celebration of life, love and friendship like never before. This sentiment is on full display with “Time for Love,” her holiday tree installation for the Edition Hotels which shines a light on the importance of authentic — and in-person — post-pandemic connection.
“My work advocates for a stronger connection to our truer selves and stories, in the midst of countless forces that pressure us to present only the idealized curated technological versions of ourselves,” said Hovnanian. “I am hopeful that viewers will recognize the dependency we have as a society to the digital connection — and value love in real time.”
Her festive work is on view at the hotel’s New York, Times Square, Miami Beach, and West Hollywood locations. The colorful trees, wrapped in LED light strips, are decked with neon ornaments which stem from Hovnanian’s Acronym Neon series. The circular ornaments contain sentiments including “Feel Love in Real Life” and “Delete Negative Thoughts,” which serve as reminders for viewers to slow down and appreciate the gift of spending time with friends and loved ones away from digital technology. A neon heart bearing the title of the installation — “Time for Love” — tops each tree.
“The pieces explore the need to pause and reflect on technology, the intimacy we have with it, and the potential loss of intimacy with each other that can be experienced as a result,” said Hovnanian. “Most importantly, they are designed to celebrate the real world around us and the truest versions of ourselves. These unusual, stressful times are reminding many of us how important our relationships are in our lives, and the holidays are a time for love.”
The New York tree will be officially unveiled at the New York Edition on Wednesday with a cocktail in support of Project Healthy Minds, a nonprofit focused on mental wellness. The hotel is also introducing an accompanying “Time for Love” cocktail, with $2 from each drink donated to the cause.
“I am very excited about supporting Project Healthy Minds because, above all, our culture needs to improve access to mental health services for children and their families,” Hovnanian added. “Today, tens of millions of people struggle with unprecedented increases in anxiety, depression and suicide rates. It’s time we put an end to this vicious cycle. I hope everyone will reach out to those who feel alone this holiday season — please do it in real time, if possible.”
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