World AIDS Day/Day With(out) Art--Today We Remember


Where have all the red ribbons gone?

Today, as on every December 1st since 1988, we commemorate World AIDS Day on a global scale. With events, film screenings, donation drives, volunteer and art projects alike, today is a day to raise awareness  as well as remember all that have passed due to HIV/AIDS related illnesses.

For the last three decades, HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact upon the world with millions of lives lost and millions more living with HIV/AIDS today. While today is a special day to honor not only those that have passed, many of whom were were part of the arts community, it is important to bring attention, awareness and education to the public every day of the year.Through my exhibition Rubbers: The Life, History and Struggle of the Condom, which closes Dec 5th, I hope I have contributed in my own little way to increased discourse regarding safer sex. But beyond one exhibition, one day to celebrate, it takes all of us to keep this conversation present and active constantly. While we do have a better understanding of HIV/AIDS, medications to slow its progression, possible vaccines, it has not disappeared. So while we may have become a little too used to hearing the safer sex message, its need is no less valid. We may no longer witness an ocean of red ribbons as we once did decades ago, but it doesn't mean our fight is over. So today and every day coming, bring back your red ribbon!

In observance of World AIDS Day/Day With(out) Art, the Museum of Sex will be screening “Last Address,” a film by Ira Sachs. Using images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings, and lofts where artists such as  Keith Haring, Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Robert Mapplethorpe among others last lived before their AIDS related deaths, "Last Address" is an ode to a generation lost. Partnering with Visual AIDS, the organization behind the creation of the Red Ribbon Project, Sachs' "Last Address" is part of a legacy of content used to bring awareness to the tremendous impact HIV has had upon the arts community. While this lose was originally reflected in the name a Day Without Art, in which it was suggested museums and galleries closes their doors and redirect their staff toward HIV/AIDS related volunteer projects, the message has evolved with time. As Visual AIDS' website quotes "we added parentheses to the program title, Day With(out) Art, to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world."

So in addition to your red ribbon, please visit the Museum of Sex today for a free viewing of "Last Address" which will be simultaneously broadcast at the following museums and cultural institutions: Tate Modern, Museum of Art & Design, New Museum, Wexner Center for the Arts, Andy Warhol Museum, El Museo del Barrio New York, Nakamura Keith Haring Collection,Grey Art Gallery at NYU, Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Union Gallery at University of Arizona, Rachel Uffner Gallery, Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU, CAMPsafe, Cleopatra's, Bloomberg and The LGBT Center of NYC, among others.

For more information about a Day without Art: or more information on Last Address: