Over a week with daily migraines. On steroids so can’t sleep. Trapped in my body. Not a pretty picture like the photoshopped straight-haired women with white flawless skin acting out migraines online. Pain is not beautiful.
Day Without Art began on December 1st 1989 as a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis… In 1998, Visual AIDS suggested Day With(out) Art become a day WITH art, and change the name to Day With(out) Art, to recognize and promote increased programming of cultural events that draw attention to the continuing pandemic. [read more at Visual Aids]
In 1996, I launched Positive Visions, a special section of my Collected Visions web project for Day Without Art 1996 with photographs and stories by and about people living with HIV/AIDS, who have died of AIDS, or who are caretakers of people with HIV/AIDS. The Web was young but was already a site of activism. I remember contacting Creative Time who used to coordinate the online DWA activities. It was very exciting to be able to connect online with people I did not know and be part of something bigger.
In 1997, I collaborated with young people at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, not-for-profit agency serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in New York City, to create an online gallery. Each year I would try to collect more stories, but it became increasingly hard to get the word out and there were increasing number of projects dealing with stories around the AIDS pandemic, so I stopped collecting stories for Positive Visions in 2001.
Today I search #DayWithoutArt #WorldAidsDay
More history and perspective at Art 21 in conjunction with Visual Aids: 1989-What We Lost by Jim Hubbard.
I went to MOMA today to see the Henri Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition. I was so inspired and amazed at their power. I kept looking at the shapes and thinking that so many looked like migraine auras. I did a quick web search and yes, he had them. Saw references cited in two books. Have to find out more of course, but led me to make this.
On my first visit to NYC in the early 1980s, I went directly to MOMA (in its original incarnation). Checked my suitcase in the coatroom and went immediately to see the permanent collection. I still remember walking into the Matisse room which was so intimate. “The Red Studio” and others surrounded me and I literally felt weak in the knees. Luckily in those days, the rooms had benches so I could sit down. I sat and just took it in for quite a while.
Today I was looking through images that I had posted to this blog to add to Random Interference, and I came across the image above which I posted on February 29, 2012 . It was linked to an article in Buzzfeed, and that link is now dead. So I did some searching. A google ‘search by image’ came up with “best guess for this image: blue bra girl,” which I quickly realized refers to woman in the newspaper image who is being dragged. The image was taken December 17, 2011. US feminist me resents that this image and the women becomes know as the ‘blue bar girl’. I didn’t do follow up at the time so I did not realize until today the extent of the anger that the event (and image) caused. It became a symbol of outrage against abuse of power by the military. The following screen grab from my image searching sums it up.
Egyptian women march against military rule – War in Context (with attention to the unseen)
During the course of the exhibition, I will be adding images from the Turkish media and international press. The ever changing collection of images can be viewed online and in the galleries at DEPO.
Link to exhibition catalogue
A lot of this was happening when I first moved to NYC. In retrospect, I don’t understand why I didn’t get involved.
I love the last line of the article in how it speaks about why we make archives: “The archive is in a place that will forever be there, and perhaps no one will show it much attention. But maybe one day, someone will see it, and will.” [by artist Mimi Smith.]
And there is a second essay
with many great selections
from the archive.
From TIME Lightbox
Interesting story about this famous photograph and timely in that Tennessee is about to vote to reinstate the electric chair. Just voting on it is horrifying enough.
How the photo was taken: The New York Daily News knew that the prison was familiar with many journalists from their staff, so they hired someone from out of town, Tom Howard, a then-unknown local photographer from the Chicago Tribune. Knowing he would never be allowed in with a camera, Howard strapped a single-use camera to his right ankle and wired a trigger release up his pant leg. Remarkably, he was allowed in. From across the room, Howard pointed his toe at the chair and took but one photo as Snyder took her last breaths.
… In my mind Andy Warhol used this photo for his Electric Chair series, but no.