In conjunction with fierce pussy's exhibition and broadside, For The Record, produced for Day With(out) Art, Visual AIDS presented a day-long program of remembering, exploring and celebrating:
1-3pm, Artists Space:Books & Talks (55 Walker Street)
A public forum was led exploring the importance of sharing singular moments in personal stories as a way of understanding and responding to the ongoing AIDS crisis. Participants included fierce pussy and Risa Puleo along with artists and writers Alysia Abbott, Cathy Busby and Orlando Ferrand (Visual AIDS Artist Member) as they shared personal stories. Historian and writer Christa Orth facilitated group sharing of stories.
3-4pm, Starting at Artists Space (55 Walker St.) to Rusty Knot (425 West St.)
Transitioning from Artists Space to Rusty Knot, a walk through SoHo and the West Village—led by writer and curator Alex Fialho—acknowledged and activated living history. In a spirit of lively remembrance, writers, curators, and artists read briefly at the last residential addresses of Joe Brainard, Keith Haring, and Cookie Mueller; the former location of the New Museum, where Visual AIDS co-founder William Olander mounted the seminal window display “Let the Record Show…”; the site of Marsha P. Johnson’s death near the water of the Christopher Street Pier; and the AIDS memorial along the Hudson River Greenway. To find out more about what to expect from the walk read about Alex's Last Address tribute walk.
4-6pm, Rusty Knot (425 West St)
Day With(out) Art will end at Scissor Sundays at The Rusty Knot tying it to the power of music and acknowledging bars/night clubs as one of many sites of LGBTQ liberation, solidarity and cultural production. There was deep house and disco sets by DJ Amber Valentine and others. Dance, sing, celebrate and continue the conversation informally.
Visual AIDS launched Day With(out) Art as a World AIDS Day initiative in 1989 to mourn those we have lost and to promote a broader awareness of the crisis. At its height Day With(out) Art was a collaborative project of an estimated 8,000 national and international museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS Service Organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges. In 1997, Day Without Art became a day WITH art, to recognize and promote increased programming of cultural events that draw attention to the continuing pandemic. Though the name was retained as a metaphor for the chilling possibility of a future day without art or artists, Visual AIDS added parentheses to the program title, Day With(out) Art, to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world. It had become clear that active interventions within the annual program were far more effective than actions to negate or reduce the programs of cultural centers. As the AIDS crisis and our understanding of it evolve, so must our actions. Visual AIDS continues to produce a year-round program of thought-provoking exhibitions, events and artist editions promoting HIV prevention and AIDS Awareness.
For The Record exhibition
November 23-December 13, 2013
Printed Matter, 195 10th Avenue, NYC
For The Record broadsides (newspapers, stickers and downloadable posters) mourned the loss of friends, family, lovers, artists and activists during the AIDS crisis and engages in a dialogue about the erasure of personal and collective memories from the historical record through this loss. Through poignant and powerful variations of the phrase “If he/she/they were alive today…,” fierce pussy explored the daily aspects of living not only with HIV/AIDS, but as a person in the world, and asked viewers to extract their own memories to consider our personal and social relationship to the AIDS crisis in the present.
Cathy Busby is an artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has exhibited her large-scale installations and printed matter in Canada and internationally. She was recently artist-in-residence with the Institute of Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, New York and then at Emily Carr University, Vancouver, where she developed the book, Steve's Vinyl. She has been a visiting researcher with a Fulbright Fellowship at New York University and she is currently a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Orlando Ferrand is a Cuban-born award-winning poet and multidisciplinary artist. He is a graduate of Columbia University and City College. His first collection of poetry, Citywalker, PublishAmerica, 2010, won the Gold Medal at the Readers Favorite Book Review and Award Contest in 2011. His other books include Apologia: Cuban Childhood in My Backpack (2011), and La Otra Isla, The Other Island (2012). Orlando Ferrand lives and teaches Creative Writing and Sculpture at various colleges and universities in New York City.
fierce pussy is a collective of queer women artists working in New York City. Formed in 1991, the members of fierce pussy came together through their shared involvement in AIDS activism. During a decade of increasing political mobilization around gay rights, fierce pussy brought lesbian identity and visibility directly into the streets with posters, stickers, t-shirts and various public interventions. They have continued to engage in a reclaiming of language and public space with installations and exhibitions in galleries and museums. Originally composed of a fluid and often shifting cadre of dykes, four of the original core members —Nancy Brooks Brody, Joy Episalla, Zoe Leonard, and Carrie Yamaoka— continue to work together.
Alex Fialho is a writer and curator based in New York City particularly interested in representations and negotiations of queerness in art and its display. He has published texts on the work of Glenn Ligon and Dorian Katz, coordinated screenings for Dirty Looks, and written art criticism for artfagcity.com. Alex's curatorial project SAFE SEX BANG: The Buzz Bense Collection of Safe Sex Posters is currently on display at the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco. He will present a paper on Keith Haring's drawing suite "Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks" in December at NYU's Fales Library for the Keith Haring: Languages conference.
Christa Orth is a fifth-generation Pacific Northwesterner, and a creative nonfiction writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes for the ACT UP Oral History Project, and is on the board of MIX NYC: Queer Experimental Film Festival. She’s currently writing her first book on the queer history of Seattle and Portland. Read her writing in the Encyclopedia of American LGBT History and Culture, Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City, and 25 for 25: 25 Outstanding Contemporary LGBT Authors And Those They Inspired. Christa is a Lambda Literary Fellow. Follow her on Twitter @christamaeorth.