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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
December 1 - 31, 2005
Online

Visual AIDS and The Body
present:

The Damaged Narcissist

A Web Gallery
Curated by
Richard Sawdon Smith
Sam Orwen, Lovers, 1982
Pater Familias 1996
John Dugdale

Featuring the work of Robert Blanchon, John Dugdale, Frank Green, Max Greenberg, Rebecca Guberman, Sunil Gupta, Derek Jackson, Luna Luis Ortiz, Tara Popick, Eric Rhein, Nelson Edwin Rodriguez, Richard Sawdon Smith, Kurt Weston and Albert Winn.

In the Curatorís Statement, Sawdon Smith states:

"The purpose of searching through the archives was to find self-portraits that spoke to me about life as an HIV-positive person and how people had visualized their 'newfound' body. In the end not all the images selected are self-portraits, but I felt the few exceptions still reflect my interest in how our identity and subjectivity may become altered, even reinforced by a diagnosis of ill health.

"As a photographer I was naturally drawn to this exhibition being about photography, but also because of the relationship that the photograph, as a reflection like the pool that Narcissus was drawn to, has with our concept of self, the image we carry in our mind's eye of who we are. Photography is not a pure reflection. It is not unmediated. It provides us with a version of the world, like that of Jacques Lacan's mirror stage analysis -- an infant's mis-recognition of itself in reflection as a whole body while its experience of the world is in a fragmented state, life lived through representation."

The British photographer Richard Sawdon Smith is Director of Studies at University College for the Creative Arts (UCA), Farnham, England, Co-editor of the forthcoming AIDS Cultures e-Journal, and a member of the Visual AIDS Archive Project. He is currently researching an article on the effect of ill health on self-image and subjectivity. His photographs and writing are published in a number of books including; Cultures of Exile (2004) Wendy Everett (ed); Art & Photography (2004) David Campany; Male Bodies: A Photographic History of the Nude (2004) & Fully Exposed: The Male Nude in Photography (1990) both by Emmanuel Cooper; Vile Bodies: Photography and the Crisis of Looking (1998) Chris Townsend and Representations of HIV and AIDS: Visibility Blue/s (2000) Gabriele Griffin. His work has been exhibited internationally including Galerie Godante, Japan; Belem Cultural Centre, Portugal; La Calcografia Nacional, Spain; MACBA (2002), and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scotland. Richard Sawdon Smith’s image is also feature in Visual AIDS new World AIDS Day e-cards.

Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS, strives to increase public awareness of AIDS through the visual arts. The Frank Moore Archive Project documents the work of artists with HIV/AIDS to ensure that their artistic legacy will be preserved, thereby safeguarding their place within art history. The Archive Project also facilitates the creation and presentation of new work and provides practical services to artists with HIV/AIDS, assisting in their pursuit of a professional career. www.visualAIDS.org

The Body is now the most frequently visited HIV/AIDS-related site on the Web, according to the Medical Library Association and also the most frequently visited disease-specific site on the Web, according to <Hot 100>. The Body contains a rich collection of information on topics ranging from HIV prevention, state-of-the-art treatment issues, humor and art. An invaluable resource, The Body is used by clinicians, patients and the general public. Part of The Body's mission is to enable artistic expression to reach the Web, and to join art with other resources needed to help the public comprehend the enormity and devastation of the AIDS pandemic and to experience its human and spiritual dimensions.

Visual AIDS 
526 W. 26th St. # 510, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.627.9855  Fax: 212.627.9815
e-mail: info@visualAIDS.org

Visual AIDS Gallery

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THE LOUVRE
“I know my little ‘dirty drawings’ are never going to hang in the main salons of the Louvre, but it would be nice if — I would like to say ‘when,’ but I better say ‘if’ — our world learns to accept all the different ways of loving. Then maybe I could have a place in one of the smaller side rooms.” (1991)
— Tom of Finland