Join us on World AIDS Day for ALTERNATE ENDINGS, a new video program for the 25th anniversary of Day With(out) Art featuring provocative work about the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic, focusing on the issues of today.
On December 1, 1989, Visual AIDS organized the first Day With(out) Art—a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. To honor the 25th year of Day With(out) Art, Visual AIDS is commissioning seven artists/collaboratives—Rhys Ernst, Glen Fogel, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hi Tiger, Tom Kalin, My Barbarian, and Julie Tolentino/Abigail Severance—to create new short videos to be screened internationally on/around December 1, 2014.
Day With(out) Art will premiere in New York City at the School of Visual Arts' SVA Theatre in Chelsea at 7pm on December 1, 2014. A post-screening discussion featuring artists Tom Kalin, Lyle Ashton Harris, and Derek Jackson of Hi Tiger as well as Wanda Hernandez-Parks (VOCAL-NY) will be moderated by SVA Professor and film critic Amy Taubin.
Post-screening discussion videos from the SVA Theatre can be viewed HERE.
The short videos in ALTERNATE ENDINGS use a mix of found footage, live performance, still photos, and robotic cameras to weave together connections between personal stories and public memories. They share tales of love and breakups, sing songs of defiance, celebrate action, and remember those whom we have lost. Through these diverse stories we are invited to reflect upon our complex past as we envision divergent narratives and possibilities for the future, because AIDS IS NOT OVER.
Rhys Ernst, Dear Lou Sullivan, 2014, 6:16
This new work by LA-based artist Rhys Ernst invokes the story of Lou Sullivan, the trans man and AIDS activist largely responsible for establishing the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation. Cut with images of Ernst’s own examination of this figure and trans history, the video is structured by the search for and desire to identify transmasculine elders and an intergenerational exploration of gay transmasculine identity. Utilizing interview footage, excerpts of Sullivan’s book “Information for the Female-to-Male Crossdresser and Transsexual," VHS gay porn, and Grindr chats, Dear Lou Sullivan is a meditation on the life of the late trans man and AIDS activist that explores the bodily intersection of transmasculine gay and HIV+ identity.
Glen Fogel, 7 Years Later, 2014, 4:19
For 7 Years Later, Glen Fogel visited his ex-boyfriend Nathan Lee in Providence, RI and videotaped a conversation between the two of them. They discuss the events that led to their breakup seven years ago, while a robotic camera autonomously scans the apartment. The video is edited to look as though it is a seamless single take, a time warp in which Fogel and Lee appear in multiple places in the apartment at the same time.
Lyle Ashton Harris, Selections from the Ektachrome Archive 1986–1996, 2014, 7:23
Lyle Ashton Harris' Selections from the Ektachrome Archive 1986–1996 is a snapshot from 1986–1996, chronicling the moments—now memories—of this charged decade. This selection features over one hundred images taken by Harris from his extensive archive of Ektachrome photographs. Harris captures creatives and intellectuals including Nan Goldin, Samuel R. Delaney, Stuart Hall, Essex Hemphill, bell hooks, Isaac Julien, Catherine Opie and Marlon Riggs among others in both intimate settings as well as now-historic events such as the Black Popular Culture Conference (1991), the opening for the Whitney’s landmark Black Male exhibition (1994), and his travels from New York to London and Los Angeles to Rome. In Selections from the Ektachrome Archive 1986–1996, bedroom scenes and personal mementos punctuate public presentations and social gatherings, as a register of Harris' life during the height of the AIDS crisis and its impact. Moreover, this archive takes the temperature of America’s recent past and charts its radical epistemological shifts.
Hi Tiger, The Village, 2014, 6:41
Hi Tiger, the Portland, Maine based art-punk band fronted by visual artist and performer Derek Jackson, recreates the song "The Village" by New Order. Originally, New Order recorded the song as an upbeat new wave tune in 1982. With Hi Tiger's re-imagining some 30 years later, The Village becomes a torch song that meditates on themes of love and loss, complicity and defiance. In the context of HIV and AIDS, the song becomes a love letter to those that have passed and a call to arms for the ones who remain.
Tom Kalin, Ashes, 2014, 5:49
For the 25th Anniversary of Day Without Art, Tom Kalin photographed thousands of high resolution still images and "stitched" them into a moving image. While borrowing library books for research on another project, Kalin discovered, glued to the endpapers, ordinary "due date" ledgers stamped with dates spanning three decades. Inspired by these tiny ledgers—like skin or palimpsests that recorded an analog history, an accumulation of many gestures—Kalin combines quotidian pictures snatched from his daily life with an evocative musical track by ongoing collaborator Doveman (Thomas Bartlett). The film layers dates and moments from Kalin's personal world with the public and global history of AIDS.
My Barbarian, Counterpublicity, 2014, 7:12
My Barbarian's Counterpublicity is a staged video performance based on an essay about Pedro Zamora, AIDS activist and star of the Real World: San Francisco, written by José Esteban Muñoz in his book, “Disidentifications.” The three members of My Barbarian re-perform scenes from The Real World in an alienated style, resisting the affect of "reality tv" even as they interrogate its politics, contrasting these scenes with the embodied performance of 90s-inspired music videos, with lyrics adapted from Muñoz's theory of Queer counterpublic spheres that operate against the dominance of racism and homophobia.
Julie Tolentino/Abigail Severance, evidence, 2014, 4:17 (Special thanks to Abigail Severance & Juvenal Cisneros)
In evidence, Julie Tolentino’s naked, moving body articulates backward on her hands and knees, balancing a cluster of Asian medicine cups. Her self-made sound piece initiates the video with a queer list of loved ones living and lost, recognizable or not, as both invocation and provocation of individuals who deeply shifted her perspective. As the listed names blur and are archived in Tolentino's body, evidence opens up to the list's potency through a female, brown, artist/activist body in the unseen yet held spaces of relationship, memory, sex and loss.
Rhys Ernst is a filmmaker and artist who works across narrative and experimental film, photography, animation, and mixed-media, utilizing various forms and modalities to investigate masculinity, transgender identity and the intersection of gender and narrative construction. Ernst received his MFA in Film/ Video at CalArts in 2011 and a BA from Hampshire College in 2004. His MFA thesis film THE THING premiered at Sundance 2012 and his collaborative film with Zackary Drucker, SHE GONE ROGUE, premiered at the 2012 “Made in LA” Los Angeles Biennial at the Hammer Museum. Past exhibitions and screenings include the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and in Los Angeles at UCLA Hammer Museum, REDCAT, and LACE. He lives in Los Angeles.
Glen Fogel is an artist living and working in New York. Solo exhibitions include Callicoon Fine Arts, New York (2013), Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (2013), Aspect Ratio, Chicago (2013), Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2012), Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2011), Participant Inc., New York (2011), The Kitchen, New York (2008), and Momenta Art, New York (2006). Group exhibitions include “Coming After” at The Power Plant, Toronto (2011), “A Word Like Tomorrow Wear Things Out” at Sikkema Jenkins, New York (2010), “Log Cabin” at Artists Space, New York (2006), and The Whitney Biennial, New York (2002). Fogel’s film and video work has screened widely at venues including The Toronto International Film Festival, The London International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Images Festival, Toronto, Chicago Filmmakers, and Anthology Film Archives, New York.
Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons (such as Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson), Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, resignifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been acquired by major international museums, most recently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker. In 2014 Harris joined the board of trustees at the American Academy in Rome and was named the 10th recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his BA with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1988 and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor at New York University.
Derek Jackson is a visual artist and performer living in Portland, Maine, and New York City. He is the founder and creative director of Hung Magazine, published by Sur Rodney (Sur) and a member of the gogocuntrypunkmashupelectrohouse ensemble Daisy Spurs. His work was most recently featured in a video program at CRG Gallery curated by Angela Dufresne and is included in the exhibition "Framing AIDS" curated by Hector Canonge at the Queens Museum of Art. Jackson is a recipient of numerous awards including the Brooklyn Arts Council, The Djerassi Artist Residency Program, and Momenta Arts. He is a graduate of the Experimental Theater Wing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as well as the City University of New York at Brooklyn College.
Tom Kalin is known as a prominent figure in the New Queer Cinema. His critically acclaimed work traverses diverse forms, including experimental films, video installations and narrative feature films. In these works and as a member of the activist collective Gran Fury, Kalin has done significant work to change public opinion of AIDS. Named one of the top 100 American Independent films by the BFI, his first feature, Swoon, was awarded Berlin's Caligari Prize, Stockholm's Fipresci Prize, Sundance's Best Cinematography and the Gotham Awards ''Open Palm.” His feature Savage Grace premiered in Cannes, played opening night in Zurich and screened at festivals including Sundance, Karlovy Vary, London and Tribeca. It was nominated for a Spirit Award and named one of the top ten films of 2008 by Artforum and Paper. As a producer his features include I Shot Andy Warhol and Go Fish. He was a writer of Cindy Sherman's Office Killer. He has also created shorts and installations including They are lost to vision altogether, Geoffrey Beene 30, Plain Pleasures, Third Known Nest, Every Wandering Cloud, Behold Goliath, Incontinent and My Silent One. Kalin was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. He has twice been included in the Whitney Biennial.
My Barbarian is a Los Angeles based collaborative group consisting of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade. The trio makes site-responsive performances and video installations that use theatrical play to draw allegorical narratives out of historical dilemmas, mythical conflicts, and current political crises. My Barbarian had solo exhibitions with Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles (2008, 2009) and at Participant, Inc. in New York (2009). In 2008, the group made a collaborative exhibition with the sculptor Lara Schnitger at Museum Het Domain, Sittard, NL, which, in 2009, traveled to the Luckman Gallery in Los Angeles. Since 2004, My Barbarian has shown work in group exhibitions and/or performance programs at venues including REDCAT; LACMA; Hammer Museum; LAXART; Schindler House; LACE; Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles; New Museum; Whitney Museum; Studio Museum in Harlem; Participant, Inc.; P.S.1; Joe's Pub; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco; MOCA, Miami; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Aspen Art Museum; Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Estacion Tijuana & Lui Velazquez, Tijuana; The Power Plant, Toronto; De Appel, Amsterdam; Peres Projects, Berlin; Torpedo, Oslo; El Matadero, Madrid; Galleria Civica, Trento, Italy; Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo. My Barbarian was included in the 2005 and 2007 Performa Biennials, the 2006 and 2008 California Biennials, the 2007 Montreal Biennial, and the 2009 Baltic Triennial. The group has made two full-length albums of music from its performances: Cloven Soft-Shoe (2004) and California Sweet & the 7 Pagan Rights (2008). Gaines (b. 1973, Visalia, California) received a B.A. in History from UCLA (1996) and an MFA in Writing from Cal Arts' School of Critical Studies (1999) and is a faculty member in the School of Theater at Cal Arts. Gordon (b. 1975, Santa Rosa, California) received a BA in Theater at USC (2008) and teaches at the Stella Adler School in Los Angeles. Segade (b. 1973, San Diego, California) received a BA in English from UCLA (1996), studied in the School of Film and Television at USC (1997–1998), received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from UCLA (2009), and also currently works as a solo artist.
Julie Tolentino’s career spans over two decades of dance, installation, and site-specific durational performance. Her diverse roles have included host, producer, mentor, and collaborator with artists such as Meg Stuart, Ron Athey, Madonna, Catherine Opie, David Rousseve, Juliana Snapper, Diamanda Galàs, Stosh Fila, Robert Crouch, Elana Mann, Mark So, Gran Fury, and Rodarte. Tolentino is deeply influenced by her extensive experience as a caregiver, an Eastern and aquatic bodyworker, a highly disciplined contemporary dancer, and as proprietress of the Clit Club in New York. Her manifold, exploratory duet/solo practice includes installation, dance-for-camera, and durational performance engaging improvisation one-to-one score-making and fluids, including blood, tears, and honey. As an extension of her practice after twenty-five years in New York City, she designed and built a solar-powered live–work residency in the Mohave Desert called FERAL House and Studio, where she explores the remote forms of physical inquiry through landscape and texts. She has received numerous grants and fellowships. She is currently the editor of Provocations in the Drama Review-TDR (MIT Press). Her works have been commissioned by The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Invisible Exports, Performa ’05, and in the UK by Spill Festival, Tramway, DanceExchange, and queerupnorth. Recent tours include England, Europe, Myanmar, the Philippines (at Manila Contemporary and Green Papaya Gallery), and Theaterworks in Singapore as well as Broad Art Space at University California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Commonwealth & Council, Honor Fraser, PSI19 at Stanford, Perform Chinatown, Install Weho, Cypress College, USC Ecotone, the New Museum, Radical Archives/NYU and YBCA In-Community project.