December 1-31, 2023
Keith Haring Room
Visual AIDS announces a program of five videos generating connections between HIV and other forms of illness and disability. Inspired by a statement from Cyrée Jarelle Johnson in the book Black Futures, Everyone I Know Is Sick examines how our society excludes disabled and sick people by upholding a false dichotomy of health and sickness. Inviting us to understand disability as a common experience rather than an exception to the norm, the program highlights a range of experiences spanning HIV, COVID, mental health, and aging. The commissioned artists foreground the knowledge and expertise of disabled and sick people in a world still grappling with multiple ongoing pandemics.
Everyone I Know Is Sick will feature newly commissioned short videos by artists working across the world:
Dorothy Cheung (Hong Kong)
Hiura Fernandes & Lili Nascimento (Brazil)
Beau Gomez (Canada/Philippines)
Dolissa Medina & Ananias P. Soria (USA)
Kurt Weston (USA)
The artists in this year’s program were selected through an open call process juried by writer Kimberly Drew and artists Marguerite Van Cook, Charan Singh, and Pato Hebert.
The hour-long video program will premiere on December 1, 2023, World AIDS Day/Day With(out) Art, and will run on loop for the entire month inside the Keith Haring room on the second floor.
Dorothy Cheung, Heart Murmurs
Heart Murmurs is a poetic dialogue between the filmmaker and Dean, a young man living in Hong Kong. In reflecting on his experience living with a congenital disability and HIV during the first years of the COVID pandemic, Dean expresses his sense of self in the face of regular medical challenges.
Hiura Fernandes and Lili Nascimento, Aquela criança com AID$ (That Child with AID$)
That Child with AID$ tells the story of Brazilian advocate and artist Lili Nascimento, who was born with HIV in 1990. Lili has worked to expand narratives about living with HIV beyond the limited images and ideologies that permeate the AIDS industry.
Beau Gomez, This Bed I Made
This Bed I Made presents the bed as a place of solace and agency beyond just a site of illness or isolation. Through the shared stories of two Filipino men living with HIV, the video explores modes of care, restoration, and abundance in the midst of pandemic pervasion.
Dolissa Medina and Ananias P. Soria, Viejito/Enfermito/Grito (Old Man/Sick Man/Shout)
Ananias, a San Francisco Bay Area artist and immigrant, performs the folkloric Danza de los Viejitos (the Dance of the Old Men). Originally from Michoacán, Mexico, where the dance originates, Ananias interprets its movements through the lens of his spirituality, his long-term HIV-related disabilities, and his search for a place in the world.
Kurt Weston, Losing the Light
Losing the Light reflects the artist’s bitter battle to stay in this world as a long-term survivor of AIDS who has lost his vision to CMV retinitis. An experimental self-portrait, the video evokes the dissolution and fragmentation of the artist’s body, representing the impact of blindness, long-term HIV infection, and the cumulative effects of decades of antiretroviral medication.
ABOUT DAY WITH(OUT) ART
Day With(Out) Art is an international day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. To learn more about this day of action and how it came about, visit visualaids.org/projects/day-without-art.
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