featured gallery for December 2020

No Fucks Given

People, like me, who live with an undetectable level of HIV in their body still face sexual stigma, regardless of the CDC’s declaration in 2017 that an undetectable person has “effectively no risk” of transmitting the virus to sexual partners. Assembled from Visual AIDS’s Artist+ Registry, No Fucks Given addresses this discrimination, which privileges the risk of supposed HIV-negativity over the safety of definitive undetectability, by showcasing the work of artists whose determination to live with HIV—even before undetectability became a possible reality—was more than just a statement about survival, but the liberating impetus to thrive; to feel and make love; to cherish their loved ones and find peace within; and to continue to make artwork and spend their time exactly how they want(ed).

Many of the artists in this gallery were/are heavily involved in nightlife in some capacity. Whether they throw their own parties like Jessica Whitbread who organizes No Pants No Problem Party (NPNP); were heralded as nightlife icons like Chloe Dzubilo, Jerome Caja, and Tom Rubnitz; or who were major nightlife cheerleaders, like Robert Bruce Monroe, whose mini-sculptures immortalize seminal New York parties and clubs like The Loft and Paradise Garage. This is a testament to how nightlife, parties, and the dance floor are integrally linked to queer emancipation, especially in the solace, community, and necessary escape they can provide. The party was, and still is, the church where everyone who has ever felt left out of the status quo is welcome to come worship; to leave all the pain, trouble, and anxiety of reality behind and simply not give a fuck, even if just for a moment.

Tom Rubnitz, Pickle Surprise, 1989, Digitized Video, 1.5 min