"Thierry," 1983, gelatin silver print , 5 5/8 x 8 5/8 inches
Bill Arning, director of the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, curates a selection of Visual AIDS Artist+ Member artworks titled "Hauntings," which explores the poignancy of memory and the "pastness" of photographs.
View Arning's "Hauntings" images and read his gallery text below. Bill was one of nine collaborating curators for Visual AIDS 26th annual Day With(out) Art, RADIANT PRESENCE.
"I am haunted more by the memories of men I never kissed, fucked or played with much more than those I did. I have joked that within me there is a chubby 14-year-old English girl obsessed by Morrissey and sure I will never be loved, and considering a future career as the ritual hanger-on to a coterie of gay men. Those haunts go back to my teenage years, and most objects of these unhealthy dreams not only never saw me as a potential lover, they were likely unaware that I fantasized and pined for them. One of my earliest friends who died from AIDS was named James W, and everyone I knew had crushes on him; he was, and remains in memory, perfection personified. When he got sick his family whisked him home to Utah, where, he just vanished from our lives. When years later I found by accident his panel at the AIDS memorial quilt I thought, Well, now I will never know what his kisses would have been like. While many of these crushes did not die … and thanks to the wonders of Facebook occasionally pop up aged and different than I remember, there is that constant reminder of the phrase “this I shall never know.” The following selection of images each reminds me of mortality, and the constraints of life, the nonnegotiable finitude of life’s pleasure. AIDS is but one of the many ways in which the sweet limits of mortal lives must be daily acknowledged. Photography as an art form is defined by its pastness, as soon as an image is made it records its begins marking its transit swiftly away from present tense. This unthinkable quarter century that has passed since Electric Blanket’s premiere is a splendid time to remind myself all I have is today."
For more art and information, please visit Visual AIDS.