Beginning on December 1, to mark Day With(out) Art/World AIDS Day, a day of action and mourning in response to the ongoing AIDS crisis, MoMA and Visual AIDS are pleased to present this Virtual Cinema program of titles drawn from the annual Visual AIDS video commission program. Each year Visual AIDS—a nonprofit that utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving their legacies—commissions artists to create new videos that respond to the crisis.
The program includes a selection of works made since 2014 that chronicle the public and private lives of sexually active queer people, beginning with a pair of meditations on cruising: Derrick Woods-Morrow’s sweaty intergenerational conversation with Patric McCoy, Much handled things are always soft; and The Labyrinth 1.0, Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s filmic adaptation of Brad Johnson’s poem “The Labyrinth,” from the 1995 anthology Milking Black Bull. The conversation then turns to sex and education, first in DiAna’s Hair Ego REMIX, Cheryl Dunye’s 30-year update on DiAna DiAna, the American hairdresser and AIDS activist who was the protagonist of Ellen Spiro’s landmark documentary DiAna’s Hair Ego, followed by Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends Mixtape (The Demo), an urban ghost story in which a chatty tub-dweller dishes about the lovers who haunt him. The program concludes with two portraits of crucial, underrepresented figures in AIDS activism: Rhys Ernst’s Dear Lou Sullivan, a tender epistle to trans author and activist Lou Sullivan; and Shanti Avirgan’s Beat Goes On, a valiant ode to Keith Cylar, founder of the New York–based homeless-advocacy group Housing Works.
Much handled things are always soft. 2019. USA. Directed by Derrick Woods-Morrow. 9 min.
The Labyrinth 1.0. 2017. USA. Directed by Tiona Nekkia McClodden. 6 min.
DiAna's Hair Ego REMIX. 2017. USA. Directed by Cheryl Dunye, Ellen Spiro. 9 min.
100 Boyfriends Mixtape (The Demo). 2017. USA. Directed by Brontez Purnell. 8 min.
Dear Lou Sullivan. 2014. USA. Directed by Rhys Ernst. 7 min.
Beat Goes On. 2019. USA. Directed by Shanti Avirgan. 9 min.
Program: 48 min.