New York-based artist Jordan Eagles has planned a powerful way to commemorate World AIDS Day by recreating his “Illuminations” light installation. The project will project images featuring the blood of 59 LGBTQ+ men directly onto paintings at the Andy Warhol Museum.
The installation is aimed at drawing attention to the FDA’s discriminatory blood ban against gay men, stigma surrounding HIV, and the value of human life. The images were created using blood donations from gay, bisexual and transgender men, most of whom are on PrEP medication to prevent HIV infection.
According to the museum, Eagles has been exploring “the aesthetics and ethics of blood” as an artistic medium since the late 1990’s.
“With my work I want viewers to experience blood in a way that expresses our common humanity and our ability to save lives,” Eagles told The Art Newspaper. “I also want viewers to experience the energy of blood and to question more about these key policy issues and health implications at play.”
The project will take over a gallery inside the exhibition Andy Warhol: Revelation, which examines Warhol’s complex Catholic faith in relation to his artistic production. Eagles will project the magnified images directly onto some of Warhol’s most famous work, including Raphael Madonna - $6.99 (1985) and prints from his Skulls and Cologne Cathedral series.
The project will be followed by a series of video presentations by Visual AIDS, for the thirtieth annual Day With(out) Art. This year’s program, STILL BEGINNING, will feature videos covering broad subject matter from anti-stigma work in New Orleans to public sex culture in Chicago as well as “highlighting pioneering AIDS activism and staging intergenerational conversations.”
World AIDS Day has been dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic and fighting HIV-related stigma since 1988, in addition to supporting the 37.9 million people around the world living with the virus. This year's theme will be "Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community," highlighting the role of communities in preventing, treating and supporting people with HIV.