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World AIDS Day’s arts-focused partners at Visual AIDS commemorates the 30th anniversary of their urgent message to activism and education this December 1st. Since 1989, the day (its name was shifted from Day Without Art to Day With(out) Art in 1998) has highlighted the decimating and mournful effects of the AIDS crisis on the world’s creative communities, as well as the power of the arts to spread the message of knowledge and engagement. What began as a ceremonial shrouding or shuttering of exhibitions to symbolize the absence of lost fellows, has since blossomed into a robust array of screenings, performances and topical happenings.

Isaac Julien, This Is Not an AIDS Advertisement, 1987, video still (Courtesy of the artist)

The network of participating museums and cultural partners is in the high hundreds nationwide, with several L.A. institutions taking part. The Hammer and the ICA LA each screen the “Still Beginning” commissioned video-art series produced by Visual AIDS and distributed around the world for this purpose. The Fowler Museum at UCLA hosts a full day of in-gallery performances and a book release in conjunction with its current exhibition “Through Positive Eyes” as well as a screening of the powerful documentary How To Survive a Plague. And The Broad screens artist Isaac Julien’s 1987 video “This Is Not an AIDS Advertisement.”

Throughout Los Angeles; Sun., Dec. 1; check website for exact times and locations; visualaids.org/projects/day-without-art.

 

Derrick Woods Morrow, Much handled things are always soft. Day With(out) Art, Still Beginning, 2019