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OVER A QUARTER CENTURY OF DEDICATION TO PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND PROMOTING EROTIC ART.
April 30, 2013
Online

Visual AIDS and The Body
present:

What's in Your Closet?
Curated by Travis Chamberlain

Sam Orwen, Lovers, 1982
CARLOS GUTIERREZ-SOLANA
What Do You Think Caused Your Heterosexuality? (installation), 1996,
Digital print, frame & shirt .

NOTE: Previous exhibitions are also available on the website.

In the Curatorís Statement:

WHAT’S IN YOUR CLOSET?

This gallery is a closet. The wardrobe--organized into three sections (Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories)--is comprised of artworks that have been curated from the Visual AIDS collection, all of which incorporate elements of wearable fashion. ??

Fashion, of course, plays many roles in the spectrum of queer art history and LGBTQ experience in general. In the context of these artworks by artists living with HIV, fashion is sometimes embraced as a form of personal empowerment, defiance, even joy and whimsy; while at other times, fashion is taken to task for its tendency to appropriate and reduce authentic cultural expression to commodified glamour and style. Imagining this collection as a curated wardrobe provokes engagement with the individual works in unexpected and even absurdist ways, adding to the meaning of the work and placing a fresh emphasis on the ways in which fashion, as a concept, is worked over, deliberately or not, by each artist. ??

Each of the works in this gallery suggests the presence and absence of the artist’s body. Yet even as you contemplate the bodies of these artists, you are invited to project yourself into the contours of the works that they produced. Why not try them on for size? Take a look in the mirror. Strike a pose. The world is a runway. Make it your own, and don’t get run over.

B i o g r a p h y

Travis Chamberlain is the Associate Curator of Performance and Manager of Public Programs at the New Museum. He is also a member of Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab. His directing work focuses on the recovery and reconstruction of frequently overlooked LGBTQ histories through a combination of site-specific research, community engagement, and interdisciplinary dramaturgy.

Directing credits include the New York City and Boston premieres of Tennessee Williams’ Green Eyes (“Best Theater of 2011,” The New Yorker) and the Kansas City world premiere of An Otherwise Hopeless Evening, an anthology of four short homophile plays by William Inge. At the New Museum, he has curated work by Chris Cochrane, Dennis Cooper, Bridget Everett, Jack Ferver, Dan Fishback, Half Straddle, Dynasty Handbag, Nick Hallett, Keith Hennessy, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Kalup Linzy, Erin Markey, Narcissister, Michelle Tea/Sister Spit, and more.


Every month, Visual AIDS invites guest curators, drawn from both the arts and AIDS communities, to select several works from the Frank Moore Archive Project.

Founded in 1988 by arts professionals as a response to the effects of AIDS on the arts community and as a way of organizing artists, arts institutions, and arts audiences towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved into an arts organization with a two-pronged mission: 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes the contributions of visual artists with HIV while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers, 2) In collaboration with museums, galleries, artists, schools, and AIDS service organizations, Visual AIDS produces exhibitions, publications, and events utilizing visual art to spread the message “AIDS IS NOT OVER.”

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

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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