This publication has been produced and disseminated on the occasion of Day With(out) Art, the annual day of mourning and action initiated by Visual AIDS in 1989 to make visible both the ongoing AIDS crisis as well as the work of artists, activists, and organizations working to combat its many devastations.
Day With(out) Art has taken many forms at ICA over the years, but this year’s program featured a poetry reading by Gabriel Ojeda-Sague and a screening of ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS at ICA on November 29. My primary interest, given the prompt of Day With(out) Art and the opportunity to organize it, was this publication, the moon will sink into the street. I invited three people—Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, Savannah Shange, and LA Warman—to respond to the ongoingness of AIDS, the im/possibilities of historicizing it, and the effect it has on linearity, futurity, and queerness.
What followed was more rich and expansive than I ever could have dreamed. GABRIEL OJEDA-SAGUE reflects on his uncle, the artist Gustavo Ojeda, who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1989 just before his work could fully enter a discourse. The massive archive of paintings and drawings Gabe inherited has provided an occasion to consider the care and labor involved in maintaining the archives of loved ones. In preparation for writing her piece in this publication, LA WARMAN also conducted archival digging, this time of ACT UP oral histories by lesbians, processing the guilt and urgency she uncovered in accounts by upper-middle class white lesbians fighting against the disease and accompanying governmental neglect in the United States. SAVANNAH SHANGE, too, explores the often-overlooked place of lesbians within the ongoing struggle against AIDS, weaving together the parallel crises of slavery’s and AIDS’ ongoingness for Black queer women.
the moon will sink into the street is designed by Jared Rush Jackson, has been distributed to spaces throughout Philadelphia, and is available here to read and share this Day With(out) Art and beyond.
—Heather Holmes, Digital Editor & Communications Associate and Editor of NOTES