On World AIDS Day 2016, The New Museum screened "Compulsive Practice," the video that Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz and myself put together as part of our Visual AIDS exhibition, Everyday. In the talk back that followed, long time artist/activists Luna Ortiz, Carol Leigh, and James Wentzy discussed their practice of using video to document their community in the face of AIDS.Read More
For the 2016 Day With(out) Art, Visual AIDS presents COMPULSIVE PRACTICE, a video compilation by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan, of compulsive, daily, and habitual practices by nine artists and activists who live with their cameras as one way to manage, reflect upon, and change how they are deeply affected by HIV/AIDS. This hour-long video program will be distributed internationally to museums, art institutions, schools and AIDS organizations.*
From video diaries to civil disobedience, holiday specials and backstage antics, Betamax to YouTube, COMPULSIVE PRACTICE displays a diversity of artistic approaches, experiences, and expectations. The compulsive video practices of these artists serve many purposes—cure, treatment, outlet, lament, documentation, communication—and have many tones—obsessive, driven, poetic, neurotic, celebratory. COMPULSIVE PRACTICE will demonstrate the place of technology, self-expression, critique, and community in the many decades and the many experiences of artists and activists living with AIDS.
COMPULSIVE PRACTICE is curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan. Participating video makers and artists includeJames Wentzy, Nelson Sullivan (1948-1989), Ray Navarro (1964-1990), Carol Leigh aka Scarlot Harlot, Juanita Mohammed, Luna Luis Ortiz, Mark S. King, Justin B. Terry-Smith, and the Southern AIDS Living Quilt.
*If you are interested in screening or presenting COMPULSIVE PRACTICE in your community, please contact Alex Fialho at afialho@visual AIDS.org.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Mark S. King has written about living with HIV since testing positive when the test became publicly available in 1985. His blog, www.MyFabulousDisease.com, chronicles his life as an HIV positive gay man in recovery from addiction. He is also the author of A Place Like This, his memoir of life in Los Angeles during the dawn of the AIDS epidemic.
Carol Leigh aka Scarlot Harlot has been working as a sex worker/prostitute activist and artist in the Bay Area for more than thirty years. Since the late seventies, she has written and performed political satire as "Scarlot Harlot," and produced work in a variety of genres on queer and feminist issues including work based on her experience in San Francisco massage parlors. A "Mother" of the sex workers rights movement, she is credited with coining the term sex worker. Her recent work and archives are available at sexworkermedialibrary.org
Juanita Mohammed is a community video artist and activist. She uses inexpensive camcorder video technology to respond to the needs of those who matter to her. In her work at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City, Mohammed makes educational videos for and about the AIDS community. In her personal video work, she looks to her friends and neighbors to find stories that are not typically represented in the media.
Ray Navarro (1964-1990) was an artist, filmmaker and activist. He attended Cal Arts in California and moved to New York in 1988 to go to the Whitney Independent Study Program, and soon joined ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power). He was also a member of DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activists), a video-documenting affinity group of ACT UP. DIVA TV documented public testimony, the media, and community activism to motivate the fight against AIDS.
Luna Luis Ortiz was born in New York City in 1972. In 1986, he was infected with HIV at the age of 14 from his first sexual experience. In 1988, he began his journey as an HIV awareness spokesperson for youth living with HIV at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and has worked at Gay Men's Health Crisis since 2007. He then studied photography at the School of Visual Arts and has worked with the photographers David LaChapelle, Lisa Ross, Shedrich Williames and Nan Goldin. The Luna Show is a show about the voguing scene and the people involved in the House/Ball community, one of the hardest hit communities by the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic. The Luna Show has been viewed by 2 million people worldwide.
The Southern AIDS Living Quilt is a project that illustrates the growing impact of HIV on women in the southern U.S., particularly women of color. Using video testimonials, the Living Quilt shares the personal stories of women living with HIV, their families and health care providers throughout the region. The stories underscore the critical importance of making HIV screening a routine part of medical care in order to ensure earlier diagnosis and prevent the spread of the disease.
Nelson Sullivan (1948-1989) was a video artist in New York City during the 1980s. Nelson lived in a large townhouse at 5 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District of New York City and his houseguests over the years included Lady Bunny, Michael Alig and the Club Kids, Sylvia Miles, Albert Crudo, and John Sex. Nelson's friendships with the emerging artists of that day like RuPaul, Deee-lite, Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman give Nelson's videos an intimacy that allows the viewer an in-crowd look at the past.
Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their sons, Lundyn and Tavis. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. Find him at www.justinbsmith.com
James Wentzy is an AIDS activist and documentary filmmaker associated with ACT UP throughout the 1990s. He has been producer director and editor for the weekly series AIDS Community Television (aka DIVA TV) since 1991, producing over 160 documentary programs, his own feature-length documentary Fight Back, Fight AIDS, and documented over 700 hours of actions and demonstrations, conferences, and the communities’ cultural and artistic responses to AIDS. His footage frequently appears in others’ media documentaries. He worked as video archivist for the Estate Project’sAIDS Activist Video Preservation Project at the New York Public Library.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Jean Carlomusto was an early pioneer in the AIDS Activist video movement. Her most recent works include the Emmy-nominated documentary, Larry Kramer In Love & Anger (Sundance Film Festival and HBO, 2015), Sex In An Epidemic (Showtime, 2011), and Offerings (an interactive altar featured in the traveling international exhibition, “Not Alone”, Stop AIDS / Make Art, 2010). She continues to create critically acclaimed films that explore the unorthodox complexities of LGBTQ history.
Alexandra Juhasz has been making and thinking about AIDS activist video since the mid-80s. She is the author of AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (Duke, 1995), and a large number of AIDS educational videos including Living with AIDS: Women and AIDS (with Jean Carlomusto, 1987), Safer and Sexier: A College Student's Guide to Safer Sex (1991), and Video Remains (2005). Most recently she’s been engaging in online cross-generational dialogue with AIDS activists and scholars about the recent spate of AIDS imagery after a lengthy period of representational quiet.
Hugh Ryan is a freelance writer and curator whose work explores the intersection of queer identity, history, and culture. His writing has appeared in venues from like The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Out Magazine, and The LA Review of Books, and he has spoken on queer museology at museums and universities around the world, including the Museum of History and Industry, Rutgers University, New York University, the Swedish Exhibition Agency & National Museum, and The Brooklyn Museum. He is the Founding Director of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History and currently sits on the Board of Advisors for QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, and is the New York Public Library's 2016-2017 Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar, where he is researching the queer history of the Brooklyn waterfront for a 2017 exhibition he is curating at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
COMPULSIVE PRACTICE: SCREENING LOCATIONS
New York City, NY
★ New Museum (235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002), December 1, 7pm, screening event followed by a panel discussion featuring Carol Leigh, Luna Luis Ortiz, and James Wentzy, moderated by COMPULSIVE PRACTICE co-curator Jean Carlomusto (website)
★ Brooklyn Museum (Sackler Center Forum, 4th Floor; 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238), December 3, 7pm, screening event followed by a panel discussion moderated by COMPULSIVE PRACTICE co-curator Alexandra Juhasz (website)
★ The Studio Museum in Harlem (144 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027), December 4, 3pm, screening event as part of the Studio Screen series, followed by a panel discussion featuring Harlem Postcards artist Nayland Blake and COMPULSIVE PRACTICE artist Luna Luis Ortiz, moderated by Vivian Crockett
Whitney Museum of American Art (Susan and John Hess Family Theater, 3rd Floor; 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014), December 1, 10:30am-3pm, looping presentation, free with museum admission (website)
Museum of Arts and Design (6th Floor Project Space, 2 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019) December 1, 10am-9pm, looping presentation, pay–what-you-wish admission after 6pm (website)
Parsons School of Design (2 West 13th Street, Entrance Lobby, New York, NY 10011), Thursday December 1, 8am-11pm, looping presentation on two street-level monitors
Tisch School of the Arts, NYU (721 Broadway, NY, NY 10003), December 1, 9am-6pm, looping presentation on 3 screens: 721 Broadway ground floor lobby and Dean's 12th floor reception area, and 665 Broadway on the 6th floor
SAGE Center Harlem (Oberia D. Dempsey Multi-Service Center; 127 West 127th Street, New York, NY 10027), December 1, 2pm-4pm, screening and post-film discussion
SAGE Center Midtown (305 Seventh Avenue, 15th floor, New York, NY 10001), December 1, 6pm-8pm, screening and post-film discussion
SAGE Center Bronx (Union Community Health Center; 260 East 188th Street, 2nd floor, Bronx, NY 10458), December 2, 1:30pm-3:30pm, screening and post-film discussion
SAGE-Pride Innovative Senior Center of Staten Island (Pride Center of Staten Island; 25 Victory Boulevard, 3rd floor, Staten Island, NY 10301), December 3, 2pm-4pm, screening and post-film discussion
Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (33 Garden Rd. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504), December 1, 5pm, screening event (website)
Pickford Film Center (1318 Bay St. Bellingham, WA 98225), December 1, 6:30pm, screening event as part of The Queens’ Vernacular Series (website)
Bowdoin College Museum of Art (Zuckert Classroom; 9400 College St, Brunswick, ME 04011), December 1, 4-5pm followed by a talkback with a Bowdoin Professor
University at Buffalo (SUNY), Center for the Arts (Screening Room; 103 Center for the Arts, Buffalo, Ny 14260), December 1, 7pm-9pm, screening event followed by guest speakers program
Scarlet Ibis Gallery (447 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98166), December 1, 10am-8pm, looping gallery presentation (website)
Harvard Art Museums (Lightbox Gallery, 5th Floor; 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138), December 1, 10am-5pm, looping gallery presentation ( website)
Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615), November 30, 6pm, screening event (website)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Sullivan Galleries and ExTV; 33 S. State Street, 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60603), December 1, 11am-6pm, looping presentation
Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (400 S. Peoria, Chicago, IL 606660), November 30 and December 1, two scheduled presentations of COMPULSIVE PRACTICE, with additional presentations by the PrEP4Love campaign and students in the UIC Gender and Women's Studies Department
International Museum of Surgical Science (1524 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610) December 1, 10am-4pm, looping presentation (website)
Pomona College Museum of Art (333 North College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711), December 1, 5-11pm, screening event in conjunction with World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil at the Claremont Colleges (website)
Dallas–Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts (2900 W. Berry, Fort Worth, TX 76109), December 1, 5-7pm, screening event (website)
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107), December 1, 11am–1pm, looping presentation in the Modern’s auditorium (website)
Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts (Doolin Gallery, 6101 Bishop Blvd Dallas, TX 75275) December 1, 11am-5pm, looping presentation (website)
Davidson College Art Galleries, Biology Department, and Health Center (Alvarez College Union, Room 202; 405 N Main St, Davidson, NC 28035), December 1, 4:30pm, screening event (website)
The Carrack (947 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27707), December 10, 7pm, screening event with a post-screening spotlight tour of Durham-based artist Tom Whiteside's exhibition W H A T W A S F I L M (website)
Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, Gainesville (3259 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611), December 1, noon screening event. December 8, 6:30 and 7:30pm screening events during the evening event Museum Nights: The New Local
Grand Rapids, MI
Kendall College of Art and Design (Woodbridge N. Ferris Building, Room 217; 17 Pearl Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503), December 1, 11:20am, screening event (website)
Gallery Box (Kastellgatan 10, 411 22 Gothenburg, Sweden), December 1, 5:30-7:30pm (UTC +01:00), screening event (website)
Henderson County Public Library (101 S Main Street, Henderson, KY), December 1, 6 pm, screening event
Ithaca College LGBT Center (953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850), December 1, 12-4pm looping presentation (website)
LGBT Resource Center, Cornell University (Resource Center Lounge in the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, Third Floor, 626 Thurston Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853), December 1, all day looping presentation
Kutztown University (Old Main, Concourse; 15220 Kutztown Rd, Kutztown, PA 19530), December 1, 10am-4pm, looping presentation
Kutztown University (McFarland Student Union, Room 183; College Blvd, Kutztown, PA 19530), December 1, 11am and 1pm, screening events
Los Angeles, CA
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Ahmanson Auditorium, 250 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012), December 4, 3pm, screening with introduction by Jih-Fei Cheng (Scripps College), co-presented with ONE Archives. Free with museum admission (website)
Loyola Marymount University (Life Sciences Building Auditorium, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045), December 1, noon-6pm, looping presentation
Speed Art Museum (Speed Cinema; 2035 S. 3rd Street, Louisville, KY 40208), December 1, 3pm, screening event
Positive Living Centre (51 Commercial Rd, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia), December 1, 6pm, screening event (website)
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art (Dorothy K. Hohenberg Auditorium; 1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104), December 1, 10am-4pm, looping presentation (website)
Middlebury College Museum of Art (Mahaney Center for the Arts, 72 Porter Field, Middlebury, VT 05753), Friday December 2, 12:15pm, screening followed by a discussion and the chance to visit our exhibition Post Pop: Prints of Keith Haring
Weisman Art Museum (University of Minnesota, 333 East River Rd. Minneapolis, MN 55455), December 1, 10am-5pm, looping presentation (website)
The Moving Image Research Laboratory (Leacock Building Room B46, McGill University; 845 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal QC H3A 2T5), December 1, 2-5 pm, looping presentation (map)
New Brunswick, NJ
Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities at Rutgers University (Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854). December 1, 7pm, screening event with a post-screening dialogue (website)
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Newcastle University, Department of Fine Art (King Edward VII Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU), November 30, 5pm, screening event introduced by Dr. Fiona Anderson
Smith College (Graham Hall, Brown Fine Arts Center, Elm Street at Bedford Terrace, Northampton, MA 01063), November 30, 7 pm, screening followed by discussion, co-presented by Smith College VOX: Voices for Choice and Smith College Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition Eric Avery: AIDS Work
Chapman University (Argyros Forum Student Union, 1 University Drive, Orange, CA 92866), December 1, 11am, screening event with reflection and conversation to follow
Artspace (Gallery 2; 378 Aylmer Street North, Peterborough, ON K9J 7X6), Thursday December 1, 2016, looping presentation from 12pm-6pm (website)
The Andy Warhol Museum (The Warhol Theater; 117 Sandusky St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212), December 1, 10am-5pm, looping presentation (website)
Portland State University Queer Resource Center (1825 SW Broadway, Ste. 458, Portland, OR 97201), December 1, 5pm, screening event and discussion (website)
RISD Museum (Metcalf Auditorium, 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903) December 1, 12pm screening event (website)
San Diego, CA
UC San Diego Price Center Ballroom East (9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093), December 1, 11am-7pm, continuous screening event in conjunction with the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt (website)
San Diego State Pride Center (Pride Center Library, 5141 Campanile Drive, San Diego CA 92182), December 1, 10am-3pm, looping presentation
Santa Fe, NM
Offroad Productions (2891 Trades West Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87507), December 1, 5pm and 7pm; December 3, noon and 2pm, screenings in conjunction with A Day With(out) Art exhibition featuring Michael Free, Fierce Pussy, and others (facebook)
San Francisco, CA
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Screening Room, 701 Mission St, San Francisco, CA, 94103), December 1, 4-6pm, looping presentation
San Jose, CA
LGBTQ Youth Space (452 S. First St., San Jose, CA 95113), Friday December 2, 7pm, screening event. All South First Friday visitors are welcome to drop-in to the Youth Space for this film screening as well as art pieces created by LGBTQ youth and young adults (website)
St. Louis, MO
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (Mezzanine; 3750 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108), December 2, 7:00pm, screening event (website)
Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (2200 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451), December 1, 10am-4pm, looping presentation (website)
Wilton Manors, FL
The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center (1201 NE 26th St. Suite 111, Wilton Manors, FL 33305), December 1-4, 12-6pm, looping presentation (website)
Co-curated by myself, Jean Carlomusto, and Alexandra Juhasz, "Everyday" explores the AIDS crisis (historically and currently) through the lens of art work that looks at and evidences daily experiences & practices in response to HIV/AIDS.
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 17, 6–9 PM
Curatorial Statement: AIDS is an everyday experience. By this, we mean it is both common and ongoing; quotidian and unending. Yet its history – like all history – is being written in Boldfaced Names and Significant Dates, especially those from the near past. Like the moon that eclipses the sun because it is closer to our frame of reference, the enormity of that moment of the AIDS crisis threatens to blind us to both the sprawling present and the unknowable future. Moreover, the significance of this artist or that day is always less than the significance of the cumulative reality of life in the time of AIDS.
In EVERYDAY, we bring together work that engages with the “now” of AIDS, both historically and currently. Some of the work uses the materials of AIDS, from pills to pamphlets, while other pieces chronicle daily responses, from protest to prayer. Much of the work speaks in the vernacular of its own moment, whether that be wheatpaste, VHS, or an app. Some of it is made by professional artists whose gift is to speak of and to the world around them, while other pieces were made by intuitive creators who were driven to respond to the crisis as one mode of survival – the same spirit that drove us to make this exhibition.
Someday we will have a cure, and the infrastructure and political will to get it to everyone who needs it. But until then, AIDS is EVERYDAY.
The exhibition includes artwork by Babycastles, Anne Balsamo, Barton Lidice Beneš, Jean Carlomusto, Curtis Carman, Paul Chisholm, Ian Clyde, darkroom danny, T de Long, Chloe Dzubilo, Delphine Fawundu-Buford, fierce pussy, Avram Finkelstein, Peggy Frank, Fuck Laws Flash Collective, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Carl George, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, John Hanning, Eva Hayward, Mark S. King, Kia Labeija, Carol Leigh, Nancer Lemoins, Gin Louie, Joyce McDonald, Juanita Muhammed, Ray Navarro, Luna Luis Ortiz, Grahame Perry, Poster Virus, Edward Rochschild, LJ Roberts, Randy Freedomclay Rogers, Fabian Rios Rubino, Dudley Saunders, Loren Schmidt, James Simmonds, Michael Slocum, Southern AIDS Living Quilt, Hugh Steers, Nelson Sullivan, Justin Terry-Smith, Prashast Thapan, The NAMES Project, James Wentzy, Frederick Weston, Jessica Whitbread, Albert Winn and Tanya Wischerath.