Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Eighties

The Eighties
slipcast porcelain
dimensions variable
Fabricated by:
Jonathan White, Odd Inq
Made possible by a grant from the Peter S. Reed Foundation

Photography by Kyle Dubay, courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art.

Born in the mid-sixties, I became aware of my difference as a child and this difference really blossomed in my adolescence in the early 80s - - a time coincidental with the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Growing up in the NYC area, the “gay plague” was a frequent news story and a hysterical media instilled in my then-impressionable young mind a terror whose presence still reverberates, regardless of reason. The “safe sex” movement was something I paid attention to, preferring self-preservation to the alternative and I am one of the lucky ones who got away in those early days. I lost many dear, beautiful and gentle people to the virus - one after the other they fell helpless to a little understood illness. This work is a memorial not only to them but also to those who took care of them in their often horrible last days: to the partners, to the families, to the doctors and nurses and to all the caregivers of the epidemic. For Ray, Will, Tim, Jaimie, Albert and Emilio, I remember.

The final image is the piece shrouded at the ICA for The Day Without Art 2017.

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