A Day Without Art
- December 1st saw the release of Day with (out) Art: United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. The 93 min documentary, directed by Jim Hubbard, focuses its attention of the formation of ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), a group of activists, strongly supported by the art world caught the attention of the US government and media affiliates to tackle the long standing AIDS crisis, in particular its affect on artists and their amazing art. The viewer is taken through the detailed planning and execution of major events which lead to what organizers called ”the largest event that’s ever happened to focus on the AIDS crisis.”
- Day Without Art (DWA) began in 1989 to mark a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. The event was held on the World Health Organization’s second AIDS Awareness Day ‘to make people pay attention to the effects of AIDS on the art world and our society,” said Thomas W. Sokolowski, a member of Visual AIDS and is to be an annual event. It aimed to increase public awareness about the affects of AIDS on artists and art, and most of all to inspire positive action. To show support, over 800 U.S. art and AIDS groups participated in the initial Day Without Art. A strong stance was taken, which involved the shutting down of art museums, sending artists and art gallery staff to volunteer at AIDS services, removing artwork from gallery walls, memorial services, the viewing of art performances and educational programs about AIDS as well as the sponsoring of special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Artists from all over the world united to take a stance. The contemporary art world saw the most beautiful art for one day covered up, hidden in shadows and intended not to viewed.
- The day was an overwhelming success, leaving this day not to be forgotten. In 1997, Visual AIDS added the parentheses to highlight the proactive programming of oil paintings, sculptures and other art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS and art about AIDS that were taking place around the world. Since that moment, Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8,000 art museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS Service Organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part on both the national and international levels.
- Watch the trailer here