Esker Foundation is proud to partner with Visual AIDS for the thirtieth annual ‘Day With(out) Art’ by presenting ‘STILL BEGINNING,’ a program of seven newly commissioned videos responding to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic by Shanti Avirgan, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Carl George, Viva Ruiz, Iman Shervington, Jack Waters/Victor F.M. Torres, and Derrick Woods-Morrow.
The seven short videos range in subject from anti-stigma work in New Orleans to public sex culture in Chicago, highlighting pioneering AIDS activism and staging intergenerational conversations. Recalling Gregg Bordowitz’s reminder that “THE AIDS CRISIS IS STILL BEGINNING,”* the video program resists narratives of resolution or conclusion, considering the continued urgency of HIV/AIDS in the contemporary moment while revisiting resonant cultural histories from the past three decades.
Visual AIDS is a New York-based non-profit that utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over. In 1989, Visual AIDS organized the first Day Without Art, a call to the art world for mourning and action in response to the AIDS crisis.
For Day With(out) Art’s thirtieth year, over 100 institutions worldwide will screen ‘STILL BEGINNING,’ recognizing the important and necessary work of artists, activists, and cultural workers who have responded to AIDS while emphasizing the persistent presence of the epidemic.
*The phrase first appeared in Bordowitz’s installation Drive (2002) and was recently displayed as a banner at the Art Institute of Chicago.
These artists will consider the continuing presence of HIV/AIDS in the contemporary moment while revisiting resonant cultural histories of art and activism from the past three decades.
The seven films are:
Shanti Avirgan, Beat Goes On.
Beat Goes On is an all-archival video portrait of Keith Cylar (1958–2004), the co-founder of Housing Works and a central figure in the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP) NY.
Carl George, The Lie.
Offering “ruminations on ruined nations,” The Lie aims to expose the links between war, poverty, AIDS and capitalism, and discredit the persistent mythologies that bind them all.
Nguyen Tan Hoang, I Remember Dancing.
I Remember Dancing brings together an intergenerational cast of trans and queer gaysians ruminating on the past and future of AIDS, activism, gay culture, love, and (un)safe sex.
Viva Ruiz, Chloe Dzubilo: Love Warrior
Viva Ruiz invites transgender AIDS activist, artist, and beloved friend Chloe Dzubilo (1960-2011) to speak via never before seen Hi-8 footage filmed by Chloe’s then-partner Kelly McGowan.
Iman Shervington, I’m Still Me.
I’m Still Me highlights Sian, a Black woman living with HIV in Louisiana, who works in partnership with the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies to address the disproportionate effect of HIV on Black women in the South.
Jack Waters, (eye, virus)
Through an experimental collage of video and pictographs, (eye, virus) explores how conversations around disclosure, stigma, and harm reduction shift across generations and from public to private realms.
Derrick Woods-Morrow, Much handled things are always soft.
Derrick Woods-Morrow reflects on the history of public sex in Black Chicago from the 1960s through the 1980s, in conversation with photographer and longterm survivor Patric McCoy.
Visual AIDS is a New York-based non-profit that utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.