Sep 17th 2016

Keep the Shadow, Ere the Substance Fade: Mourning during the AIDS Crisis

@ Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art

40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208

Opening Saturday, September 17th, from 13 October 2016 - 8PM

On view through Sunday, December 11th

During much of the 20th century, death was a private and comparatively silent event. However, during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 90s, a politicized resurgence of highly visible and public acts of mourning emphasized the body ravaged by the virus. In some ways, these practices paralleled the public and material mourning practices of the nineteenth century. By juxtaposing objects and artworks related to mourning from the Victorian Era—intricately woven hairworks and ornate brooches kept as bodily relics of the deceased—and during the AIDS crisis, Keep the Shadow examines two analogous cultures of bereavement. The exhibition proposes that these historical periods uniquely relied on the materiality of the individual body, and items associated with it, as relics in order to grapple with mortality and persevere in the face of death. With work by, Eric Avery, David Grieger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Mock, Domingo Orejudos, Leonard Rifas, Andres Serrano, Félix González-Torres. This program was curated by 2015-16 Block Museum Graduate Fellow, C.C. McKee.

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