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
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,
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