For this year’s Day With(out) Art 2015, Visual AIDS is working with nine influential artists, activists and curators—Bill Arning, Ian Alteveer, Chris Vargas, Rae Lewis-Thornton, Mark S. King, Allen Frame, Maria Mejia, Jack Mackenroth, and Kimberly Drew—to present RADIANT PRESENCE.
RADIANT PRESENCE is a digital slideshow with images from the Visual AIDS' Artist+ Registry, the largest database of works by artists with HIV/AIDS. RADIANT PRESENCE runs for approximately 5 minutes, and will be on a continuous loop in the Modern's auditorium from noon until 2 pm. Admission is free.
At this point in the AIDS epidemic, over 39 million people have died of AIDS-related causes. The nature of the crisis has changed, however, so that nearly just as many people, 36 million, are living with HIV today. In this context, RADIANT PRESENCE showcases the resilience and vitality of Visual AIDS’ Artist Members and their artwork, preserving the radiance of those who have passed while provoking dialogue about the needs and experiences of people living with HIV.
RADIANT PRESENCE provokes conversations about HIV criminalization and stigma, access to treatment, the shifting demographics of people living with HIV and the disproportionate effect of the epidemic on communities of color and transwomen.
RADIANT PRESENCE is inspired by the 25th Anniversary of Electric Blanket, an epic slide show about AIDS created by photographers Nan Goldin, Allen Frame and Frank Franca for Visual AIDS which intersperses the work of over 200 photographers with slide texts that include demographics, data, and slogans about AIDS worldwide. The slide show, initially projected on the façade of Cooper Union on December 1 1990, was later projected on public walls and buildings internationally.
For more information: https://www.visualaids.org/projects/detail/radiant-presence
Image credit: Shan Kelley, "With Curators Like These, Who Needs A Cure," 2015 oil paint, semen, resin on wood, 5 x 7 in.