Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 6:00pm–8:00pm
Price: Free


MCA Chicago
220 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL , 60611
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Newly commissioned videos by Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia LaBeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden and Brontez Purnell.

ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS was screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on December 5, 2017 at 6pm, free and open to the public. A post-screening discussion featured artists and activists Rae Lewis-Thornton, Charles Long and Tiona Nekkia McClodden in conversation with VIsual AIDS Programs Director Alex Fialho.

(MCA event page) (Facebook event page)

Watch the full video program here.

ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS is the 28th annual iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project. Curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett for Visual AIDS, the video program prioritizes Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic, commissioning seven new and innovative short videos from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia LaBeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden and Brontez Purnell.  

In spite of the impact of HIV/AIDS within Black communities, larger artistic and historical narratives constantly exclude Black stories and experiences. In 2016, African Americans represented 44% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Given this context, it is increasingly urgent to feature a myriad of stories that consider and represent the lives of those housed within this statistic. ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS seeks to highlight the voices of those that are marginalized within broader Black communities nationwide, including queer and trans people.

The commissioned projects include intimate meditations of young HIV positive protagonists; a consideration of community-based HIV/AIDS activism in the South; explorations of the legacies and contemporary resonances within AIDS archives; a poetic journey through New York exploring historical traces of queer and trans life, and more. Together, the videos provide a platform centering voices deeply impacted by the ongoing epidemic.

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award winning AIDS Activist. She has been featured in countless magazines and media outlets, Woman's Day, Essence, Ebony, Jet, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, and shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Nightline, Dateline, Huffington Post, CNN, HLN News and BET and many more. She is an Award winning blogger, jewelry designer and artist. Rae has been living with HIV for 34 years.

Charles Long is a Chicago based multi-disciplinary artist, activist and Black liberationist. He has worked in communities across the United States with poor, disabled, young, LGBT, currently/formerly active drug users and formerly homeless folk. Charles has worked in all realms of the social justice arena doing everything from; direct service provision, lobbying, development, communications and direct action. He uses that background to inform both his artistic and movement work with a particular lens of Black, Queer Feminist perspectives that naturally create space for growth rooted in true freedom. 

Tiona Nekkia McClodden is a curator, visual artist, and filmmaker whose work explores and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary. Themes examined in McClodden's films and works have been re-memory and more recently narrative biomythography, and shared ideas, values, and beliefs within the African Diaspora—what she calls, “Black mentifact.” McClodden’s work is interested in exploring intersubjectivities within Black communities as a tool for creating insider perspectives within film, time based works, and objects. McClodden lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

This project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the generous support of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. Visual AIDS would also like to thank the artists for the time and resources they have contributed to this project.