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. This month, I curated a gallery titled “HELP! HOLD ME!” featuring the artwork of Archive Members Angel Borrero, Michael Borosky, Joe Brainard, Greg Cassin, Michael Golden, Derek Jackson, David King and Preston McGovern.
From the Curator’s Statement:
Studying these images for several months after choosing them, I’m still emotionally impacted by each one in a way that I rarely respond to art on museum walls. I chose these pieces because they made me catch my breath. Now, seeing them as a group, I think that each of the artists is giving us a wrestling match between power and vulnerability. The tensions in that false duality are exciting to me — which parts are tender and which parts strong? (read more)
I am looking at these images after a disheartening critique in my new art class. I had said, “truthfully, what I want in terms of feedback is simply to know what ideas/emotions the image conveys to you, or where it is alive.” The response was a group of twenty-one-year-old art students staring at the floor in uncomfortable/bored confusion.
I left the critique room wondering why it must be always such a fierce struggle to want to live in a *feeling* world. To me, art matters because of what it moves in us–and how it moves in us. As freaks & outliers of proper society, art becomes a means of reconstructing reality to include our longings, our celebration, our shame, wonder, fear. Moreover, for those who have been pushed out of communities and families and public life, art is the defiant act of reaching out to touch, to connect with not only those like ourselves, but anyone who might also happen to long for touch or decadent glamor, who might be for one private moment a birdcage built in cavernous stacks of old newspapers.
This collection of artwork is a reminder of why it is so necessary to continue creating. I look at these works–I reach towards them and they reach back. They laugh and prod and pull on me to come closer.
This is not only what art can do but also what queerness can do. No doubt it is also what intimacy with death and illness (AIDS in particular, because of its stigma) do most effectively.
(Thanks for it.)
thank you luke! I was just looking at yr stuff online last night and appreciating you, and this is such a sweet comment. love you much!