September 1 - 30, 2007

Visual AIDS and The Body

Dream Home Heartache
Curated by Adam Putnam
Sam Orwen, Lovers, 1982
Frankie's Tattoos Series 3, 2001
Jose Louis Cortes

What would it be like to, instead, have broken cities
etched onto bodies? Graffiti in reverse.

In the Curatorís Statement:

It had something to do with Labyrinths…

A place to get lost ... for a time.

This, at least, was my starting point when I first started sifting through the Frank Moore Archive Project. A little romantic and a little scary. Thinking back on it now makes it seem kind of ironic as a labyrinth is basically a riddle, a spatial conundrum.

The conundrum, for me, has always been about where bodies begin and end. Or put another way, where the OUTSIDE connects with the INSIDE ... when things get reversed (turned inside out) and you suddenly find yourself on the outs when you should have been on the ins. Where things become familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, not unlike:

A mandala
A dark and twisted corridor
A knot in the landscape
That dream house nightmare
A boy's curved back as he turns away
A floor tile
A dinosaur mural with broken windows for eyes
A man jerking off in his apartment (with his apartment)
A pile of rubble
A closed roll gate that is both an invitation and a barrier

Bodies etched on bodies, etched across crumbling facades; buildings crumbling with orgasmic delight. What would it be like to, instead, have broken cities etched onto bodies? Graffiti in reverse.

... or maybe it was about Home, that no-place just out of reach.

b i o g r a p h y

Adam Putnam is an artist, born and currently living in New York City. He is represented by Taxter & Spengemann and has exhibited at Andrew Kreps and P.S. 1. Recently his work was on view in "Between the 2 Deaths" at the ZKM, Karlsruhe. He has also initiated several projects, including the one-time journal "Into the Abyss" about sex and suicide in the landscape, and a lecture series in 2005 entitled "Passing Time." In January 2007, Putnam and artist Shannon Ebner co-curated "Blow Both of Us" at Participant Inc. The exhibition highlighted the interconnected links between friends in a queer community spanning several decades.

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

Visual AIDS Gallery

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"My whole life long I have done nothing but interpret my dreams of ultimate masculinity, and draw them." From an interview with Patrick Sarfati published in Rebel — Tom of Finland