World AIDS Day: This is Not an AIDS Advertisement Screening and Talk
For World AIDS Day 2019, The Broad presents a screening of artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien’s short video, This is Not an AIDS Advertisement (1987, Super 8 transferred to video, 10 min.), hosted and co-organized by West Hollywood’s poet laureate, Steven Reigns.
Following the screening, Reigns, along with award-winning author Bernard Cooper, writer, musician, and choreographer Brontez Purnell, and acclaimed writer and producer Jacob Tobia, will respond to Julien’s film, speak to how HIV and AIDS have impacted their lives personally, and present examples of their own work.
In its stylish and erotic imagery, This is Not an AIDS Advertisement might be seen as having been a riposte to the Puritanism of the mid-1980s’ “moral panic" around AIDS. The film is a two-part video: the first deals with lyrical images of death and loss while the second part is more joyful, assertive, and celebratory, accompanied by a funk-heavy soundtrack and politically charged poetry. Hot pink tinting makes men the objects of desire.
Since opening its doors in 2015, The Broad has presented annual programming for World AIDS Day to commemorate the many who have lost their lives to the pandemic, to recognize the many still living with HIV/AIDS, and to acknowledge that, globally speaking, the AIDS crisis is not over. At the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, artists became activists and activism grew into an art form. Prime examples of this include Broad collection artists Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz (both of whom died of AIDS-related complications), as well as Glenn Ligon and Jenny Holzer, who continue to use their artistic voices to highlight the need for public awareness on the subject.
Free walk-up admission will be available. Please note that reserving a ticket does not guarantee seating at the event as seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Free tickets for this event grant one-time, same-day access to The Broad’s third floor galleries.
Bernard Cooper is the recipient of the 1991 PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award, a 1995 O. Henry Prize, a 1999 Guggenheim grant, and a 2004 National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including five iterations of the annual publication, The Best American Essays. His work has appeared in magazines and literary reviews including Granta, Harper’s Magazine, The Paris Review, Story, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He has contributed to NPR’s “This American Life,” and for six years, wrote monthly features as the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine. Cooper taught Creative Non-Fiction at Bennington College, and held the Mary Routee Distinguished Writer Chair at Scripps College. His work as a visual artist has been exhibited locally at Thomas Paul Fine Art, Photo LA, and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, as well as at The Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design.
Isaac Julien’s 1989 documentary-drama Looking for Langston garnered a cult following, and his 1991 debut feature Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His work has been exhibited and is held in collections internationally. Julien has taught extensively, holding posts such as Chair of Global Art at University of Arts London and Professor of Media Art at Staatliche Hoscschule fur Gestaltung, Karlsruhe, Germany. He is the recipient of the James Robert Brudner ‘83 Memorial Prize and Lectures at Yale University (2016) and the Charles Wollaston Award (2017) for most distinguished work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 2018, he was made a Royal Academician. In 2017, Julien was awarded the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Brontez Purnell hails from Triana, Alabama, and has been publishing, performing, and curating in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. He is the creator of the fanzine, Fag School, frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, the founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, and was a dancer for the Oakland-based electroclash band, Gravy Train!!!!. He is the author of The Cruising Diaries (2014), Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger (2015), and the Whiting Award-winning novel, Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017).
Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles-based poet and educator, and was appointed the first Poet Laureate of West Hollywood. Alongside over a dozen chapbooks, Reigns has published the poetry collections Inheritance and Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat. Reigns holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida, a Master of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and is a fourteen-time recipient of the Los Angeles County Department of Cultural Affairs's Artist in Residency grant. He edited My Life is Poetry, which showcased his students’ work from the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors, and has lectured and taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Currently, he is touring The Gay Rub, an exhibition of rubbings from LGBT landmarks, facilitates the monthly Lambda Lit Book Club, and is at work on a new collection of poetry.
Jacob Tobia is the author of the bestselling memoir, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story, the voice of non-binary character Double Trouble in Netflix’s “She-Ra and The Princesses of Power,” and member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and the OUT 100. Tobia’s “Queer 2.0” was a first-of-its-kind LGBTQ series for NBC News. They served as the social media producer on season 4 of the Emmy Award-winning series, “Transparent,” and collaborated with Instagram and GLAAD to produce the #KindComments campaign for Trans Day of Visibility. Tobia has captivated audiences at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, SXSW, and conferences across the country with their message of personal fabulosity and social change. Their writing and advocacy have been featured on MSNBC, MTV, The Washington Post, The New York Times, TIME, New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, Playboy, The Guardian, and Jezebel. They graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with a degree in human rights advocacy.
About World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day, designated on December 1 every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations, and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.
World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day, and World Hepatitis Day.Read More