MACBA is proud to partner with Visual AIDS for the Day With(out) Art 2020, by presenting TRANSMISSIONS, a program of six new videos examining the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States. The video program brings together artists working across the globe: Jorge Bordello (Mexico), Gevi Dimitrakopoulou (Greece), Las Indetectables (Chile), Lucía Egaña Rojas (Chile/Spain), Charan Singh (India/UK), and George Stanley Nsamba (Uganda).

The program is not intended to give a comprehensive account of the global AIDS epidemic, but it does provide a platform for a diversity of voices from beyond the United States, offering insight into the divergent and overlapping experiences of people living with HIV around the world today. The six commissioned videos cover a broad range of subjects, such as how women living with HIV in South America are rendered invisible, ineffective Western public health campaigns in India, and the realities of stigma and disclosure for young people in Uganda.
 
As the world continues to adapt to living with a new virus, COVID-19, these videos offer an opportunity to reflect on the resonances and differences between the two epidemics and their uneven distribution across geography, race, and gender.

Project introduction and subsequent discussion led by Lucía Egaña, the artist chosen by Visual AIDS for this edition of a Day Without Art, who also collaborates regularly with the MACBA.

 

Visual AIDS is a New York-based non-profit that utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.

 

Visual AIDS
TRANSMISSIONS Dia sense art 2020

 

Programme

Tuesday 1 December 2020, at 7 pm

The video programming, together with the introduction by Lucía Egaña, will be available on this website through December 8th.

Introduction by Lucía Egaña

SCREENING OF THE VIDEOS:

Jorge Bordello. Ministry of Health
Synopsis:Ministry of Health employs the aesthetics of horror movies and silent film to evoke the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals on four men living with HIV in the city of Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Biography: Jorge Bordello is interested in the wrinkles between document and fiction, the family archive and the national history, the montage of the body and public life. He has a degree in international relations from the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) and studied library sciences at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He was chosen to study at the National Photo Library System and the Image Center in Mexico City, and has been a beneficiary of the Cultural Development and Co-Investment Program (FONCA 2011), Young Creators Grant (FONCA 2016), and the Municipal and Community Cultures Support Program (PACMyC 2015). His work has been included in festivals such as ULTRAcinema, FICUNAM, the International Postporn Festival and Cinemaissí: Latin American Film Festival.

Gevi Dimitrakopoulou. This is Right; Zak, Life and After
Synopsis:This is Right: Zak, Life and After is a portrait of Zak Kostopoulos, a well-known queer AIDS activist who was killed in a public lynching in Athens in 2018. Zak's chosen family and community highlight Zak's activist life and the response that his murder has galvanized. 

Biography: Gevi Dimitrakopoulou is a feminist visual artist and filmmaker based in Athens, Greece. Her films primarily focus on gender identity, sexuality, queerness and the political inequalities of minorities. She is a published media scholar, writing and speaking on technology and culture. She holds degrees in economics, film studies, and digital media.

Las Indetectables. Me Cuido
Synopsis:Me Cuido (“I take care of myself”/”I’m careful”) questions the relationship between colonial paradigms of health, religious guilt, and the stigmatization of people living with HIV in the context of Chile’s capitalist and neoliberal regime. 
 
Biography: Las Indetectables is a Chilean band led by Sofía Devenir and Noelia Shalá. With their friends and collaborators Macarena Rodríguez and Osvaldo Guzmán, they address topics such as HIV/AIDS, hate crimes, the experiences of sex workers and travestis, and the contradictions that arise when marginalized subjects stage political interventions in the street or on public transit.

Lucía Egaña Rojas. Female Disappearance Syndrome 
Synopsis: Lucía Egaña Rojas challenges gendered representations of HIV and AIDS, investigating what Lina Meruane has termed the “female disappearance syndrome”—the elimination of women living with HIV from conversations about the epidemic. Some of the contents of the video are drawn from the research done with HIV-positive women in the city of Buenos Aires by psychologist Julieta Obiols, ex-student in the Independent Studies Programme.
 
Biography: Lucía Egaña Rojas is a Chilean artist who currently lives in Barcelona. Her work problematizes the relationship between high and low culture, high-tech and low-fi, public and private space, and the relationship between the global north and south. She studied visual arts in Chile and completed a master's degree in creative documentary and a PhD in post-pornography in Spain. She is currently teaching at the Independent Studies Programme of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona while developing two research projects and producing embroidery, videos, and performances.

Charan Singh. They Called it Love, But Was it Love?
Synopsis:They Called it Love, But Was it Love? depicts scenes from the lives of kothis living in India. Reduced to a “risk group” by public health campaigns and misunderstood through Western notions of gender and sexuality, these protagonists have real lives and inhabit unique worlds with their own quests for fulfilment and love.

Biography: Charan Singh lives and works in New Delhi and London. Singh’s art practice is informed by HIV/AIDS work and community activism in India. He is a candidate for a practice-led PhD at the Royal College of Art, London. In 2016, he earned a Magnum/Photo London award for his portrait series “Kothis, Hijras, Giriyas and Others,” which was featured in the 2017 Photoworks Annual. He was a 2017 resident at the Fire Island Artist Residency. His latest book and exhibition (with Sunil Gupta), Delhi: Communities of Belonging was published by The New Press 2016 and exhibited at SepiaEye, New York in 2017. A later iteration, Dissent and Desire was shown at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2018 and also at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, India in 2018-19. 

George Stanley Nsamba. Finding Purpose
Synopsis:Finding Purpose reflects on the experience of producing a film about the lives of teens born with HIV in Uganda and the pervasive stigma that surrounded the project.

Biography: George Stanley Nsamba is a filmmaker, spoken word artist and human rights activist. In 2013, he founded The Ghetto Film Project to mentor and train youth in socially-engaged film production. Nsamba's films Time Irreversible (2017), The Dummy Team (2016), Silent Depression (2015), and Crafts: The Value of Life (2015) have been screened throughout Africa and the United States.

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I like to work with what is often called "cultural heritage", but the materials that I use are banal and clichéd, like sugar blocks, doors, couscous, rugs, official documents.
Latifa Echakhch