As one of the last acts for 2019, I managed to have a wonderful little exhibition in the beautiful Monheim am Rhein, Germany.
After two months of planning I managed to ship the exhibition I conceived of in 2017/2018 to the “Mack-Pyramide” in this beautiful little town in between Cologne and Düsseldorf, coming full circle with the process that started nearly six years ago.
The exhibition “Going Viral” explores the violent change that occurred after my diagnosis. The altering perceptions of the self, of sexuality and of my everyday life. Images in which blood and my medication take an important new role in my life – which, would I not have received treatment, would most likely have ended in 2019 because of AIDS related disease.
Set in the cold production rooms of a former pharmaceutical plant, the eerie aura of the pyramid structure enhanced the gravitas and weight of what my life, so many years ago, looked like.
And yet it is also a closing chapter.
Upon showing this exhibition the first time in February 2018, I wasn’t present. Too afraid of showing my face, too afraid of the fear of others. I was a ghost at my own opening. Plagued by cowardice and fear. Not even two years later, I held a talk in front of a small audience to inaugurate the exhibition. About sexuality, illness and challenging stigmas. “Going Viral” was the first artistic step on this continuing journey, and I will always see it as that necessity.
But now the next challenges lie ahead. The next transformations.
It is time for something new.
I’m continuously amazed at how fear can be challenged and overcome.
How some chapters close and new chapters open.
I could not have done any of this with my family, my friends and the people who made this exhibition possible. Who have stood with me in those darkest of times, and who have pushed me to continue to pursue this challenge.
For “Going Viral”, greatest thanks to Danja Burchard and the Monheimer Kulturwerke. To Jenni Bea in London. To Esther Mlenek in Vienna. And all the others who helped me conceive it.
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