ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS
Admission is free.
ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS is the 28th iteration of Day With(out) Art, an international day of action and mourning organized by Visual AIDS in response to the AIDS crisis. This video program prioritizes Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic, commissioning seven new and innovative short videos from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and Brontez Purnell. Followed the screening will be a performance by Kia Labeija and a discussion featuring Reina Gossett and Labeija in conversation with program curators Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett.
In spite of the impact of HIV/AIDS within Black communities, larger artistic and historical narratives constantly exclude Black stories and experiences. In 2016, African Americans represented 44% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Given this context, it is increasingly urgent to feature a myriad of stories that consider and represent the lives of those housed within this statistic. ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS seeks to highlight the voices of those that are marginalized within broader Black communities nationwide, including queer and trans people.
The commissioned projects include intimate meditations of young HIV positive protagonists; a consideration of community-based HIV/AIDS activism in the South; explorations of the legacies and contemporary resonances within AIDS archives; a poetic journey through New York exploring historical traces of queer and trans life, and more. Together, the videos provide a platform centering voices deeply impacted by the ongoing epidemic.
ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS is curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett for Visual AIDS.
Erin Christovale is the Assistant Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She is the curator of Black Radical Imagination with Amir George, which has screened both nationally and internationally in spaces such as MoMA PS1, MOCA Los Angeles, and the Museo Taller José Clemente Orozco. Exhibitions include a/wake in the water: Meditations on Disaster (2014) at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Memoirs of A Watermelon Woman (2016) and A Subtle Likeness (2016) at the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, and S/Election: Democracy, Citizenship, Freedom (2016) at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. She is currently organizing Made in L.A. 2018 with Anne Ellegood at the Hammer Museum.
Vivian Crockett is a NY-based independent researcher, scholar, and curator focusing largely on art of African diasporas, (Afro)Latinx diasporas, and Latin America at the varied intersections of race, gender, and queer theory. She is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at Columbia University whose dissertation examines artistic practices and discourses in Brazil in the sixties and seventies. Her scholarly and cultural work seeks to assert a radically political analysis of modern and contemporary art and to foster the remembrance and visioning of cultural spaces that merge a commitment to artistic and cultural production with sociopolitical justice and collective liberation. She is the 2017-18 Mellon Museum Research Consortium Fellow in Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Reina Gossett is an artist and the 2017 Activist In Residence at Barnard College Center for Research on Women (BCRW). While at BCRW, she recently directed The Personal Things, an animated short starring iconic trans activist Miss Major and the everyday ways people fight back. Gossett often makes her art through collaboration. Along with Sasha Wortzel, Gossett directed Happy Birthday, Marsha! about legendary performer and activist Marsha P. Johnson. Gossett is an editor of the anthology TRAP DOOR about trans art and cultural production, to be published by the New Museum and MIT Press in October 2017. A longtime community organizer, Gossett worked as the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Critical Resistance, Queers for Economic Justice, where she directed the Welfare Organizing Project and produced A Fabulous Attitude, documenting low income LBGT New Yorkers. Gossett moderated Visual AIDS’ 2015 event AGING FIERCELY WHILE TRANS and was a featured artist in Visual AIDS’ Playsmart safer sex kit project, exhibited and distributed in The Brooklyn Museum exhibition Agitprop. Gossett lives and works in New York City, NY.
Kia LaBeija is a contemporary artist who provokes awareness, acceptance and activism for HIV/AIDS through her portraiture and performance art. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art and activism. As a visual artist she stages digital portraits as theatrical and cinematic re-imaginings of non fictional events to spark conversation, complicating the way we view her subjects and the spaces they occupy. Labeija’s portraiture utilizes the medium of story telling, to preserve histories and make sociopolitical commentaries on current events. Labeija was a featured artist in Art, AIDS, America, alongside Keith Haring, Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe and more; she was the only woman of color; the only woman living with HIV; and the only artist born with HIV included in the exhibition. A performer by nature, LaBeija is a member of the Iconic House of LaBeija and uses Voguing as performance practice and community based work. Labeija lives and works in New York City, NY.