Thursday, December 1, 5 p.m.
Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA
A co-presentation of the Figge Art Museum, the Project of the Quad Cities, and the New York-based non-profit Visual AIDS, the Davenport venue's December 1 screening of Being & Belonging will acknowledge the 2022 Day With(out) Art in a program of seven short videos, all of them highlighting under-told or even untold stories of HIV and AIDS from the perspective of artists living with HIV across the world.
From navigating sex and intimacy to confronting stigma and isolation, Being & Belonging concerns the emotional realities of living with HIV today. How does living with HIV shift the ways that a person experiences, asks for, or provides love, support, and belonging? The presentation's seven videos are consequently a call for belonging from those that have been stigmatized within their communities or left out of mainstream HIV/AIDS narratives. The artists in this year’s program were selected through an open call process juried by curator and writer Nico Wheadon, filmmaker Jorge Bordello, artist and curator Ezra Benus, and cultural consultant and health activist Lauraberth Lima.
Opening the video showcase, Camila Arce's Vertical Memory Archive presents a poem about the experience of being born with HIV and growing up as part of the first generation with access to antiretroviral medication in South America. Davina “Dee” Conner's and Karin Hayes' We Are Here: Voices of Black Women Who Live with HIV, meanwhile, was created when Conner was diagnosed with HIV in 1997. For 17 years, she knew no one else who lived with HIV, yet as she emerged from isolation and internalized stigma, Conner sought to understand the journeys of other Black women living with HIV; the short video invites audiences to listen to their voices. The third video in the Being & Belonging presentation, Jaewon Kim's Nuance (working title), depicts a relationship between someone who is living with HIV and their HIV negative partner. Through their entangled yet sometimes isolated lives, the piece offers a critical reflection of the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in South Korea today.
Clifford Prince King's Kiss of Life finds three Black people living with HIV describing their dating experiences. Raw conversations surrounding disclosure, rejection, and self-love are consequently expressed through visual poetry and dreamscapes. Santiago Lemus' and Camilo Acosta Huntertexas' Los Amarillos is set in Colombia, where many people living with HIV experience jaundice, the yellowing of the eyes and skin, as a side effect of the low-cost antiretroviral drugs supplied by the government. Los Amarillos is an experimental video addressing the alienation and hypervisibility that the artists have faced as a result of this side effect.
In Mikiki's Red Flag, through a cacophony of limbs, members, and sounds drawn from the party and play scene, the filmmaker interrogates their own substance use and asks how we can return pleasure and trust to conversations about drug use. And finally, Being & Belonging concludes with Jhoel Zempoalteca's and La Jerry's Lxs dxs bichudas, a poetic dance dialogue in Zapotec and Spanish that explores the ways in which race, gender, and geography shapes the lives and bodies of people living with HIV in Mexico.
The Being & Belonging screening on December 1 will be preceded by a 5p.m. Cash bar and light refreshments, the videos we be shown at 6:30 p.m., and the evening will be completed by a candlelight vigil directly after the film's conclusion. Participation is free, and more information on the event is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.