Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What Does Loss Look Like? (World AIDS Day 2009)

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
-Maya Angelou

Twenty years ago on December 1, 1989 the first Day Without Art was held to spark dialogue and create a day of action concerning the AIDS crisis. At least 800 museums and galleries across the United States closed their doors, shrouded artworks or removed them from view as symbols of mourning and loss. The goal was to show that AIDS can touch everyone. And it worked.

Today on December 1, 2009 museums are again engaged in remembrance for those lost to AIDS and are actively marking the gains that have been made so far. In 1997 the day became known as A Day With(out) Art to reflect the force art can bring to the cause.

Today, A Day With(out) Art has grown into a international collaborative project in which nearly 8,000 museums, galleries, art centers, libraries, high schools and colleges mark the day.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has removed from view sixteen artworks to mark World AIDS Day. The artists range from Duccio to Dali. And the subjects range from the young man Eutyches to Andrew Jackson. I have posted a few fragments of the hidden Metropolitan Museum of Art artworks as well as the Getty Museum's draped Maillol sculpture and, in memory of my friend Thom who died of AIDS, an evocative corner from a Buddha monotype I created.

More at:
World AIDS Day
MTV Staying Alive

Courtesy the Getty Museum

Thanks to Bill Roedy for reminding me of Maya Angelou's powerful poem:
Bill Roedy:Despite Huge Successes In HIV Prevention And Treatment, We Must Not Rest On Our Laurels

*Images courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Getty Museum, Los Angeles and the LOOK Gallery, Los Angeles

No comments: