Monday, December 1, was both World AIDS Day and Day Without Art (or Day With[out] Art), each a powerful effort to spread awareness about AIDS and to encourage activism against the disease and any misconceptions that still linger about it. Led by the group Visual AIDS, Day Without Art first began in 1989 as a response to the way AIDS had affected the artistic community, suggesting in its name a future without artists and art.
Each year, artists, organizations, and institutions collaborate on projects for Day Without Art. This year, Visual AIDS commissioned a series of videos from artists under the title and idea ALTERNATE ENDINGS. According to Visual AIDS, “ALTERNATE ENDINGS highlights the diverse voices of seven artists that use video to bring together charged moments and memories from their personal perspective amidst the public history of HIV/AIDS. . . . They share tales of love and breakups, sing songs of defiance, celebrate action, and remember those whom we have lost. Through these diverse stories we are invited to reflect upon our complex past as we envision divergent narratives and possibilities for the future, because AIDS IS NOT OVER. On December 1, the MCA joined Visual AIDS and other artists and organizations around the world, participating in Day Without Art by virtually blacking out our website (in the past museums have hung black cloth over artworks or removed certain pieces entirely) through a roll-over screen, which blacked out our homepage and directed people to view ALTERNATE ENDINGS.
Today we share these videos again and give them a permanent home on MCA DNA. Although Day Without Art 2014 has passed, the struggle against AIDS, prejudice, and fear continues all year.