Category Archives: documentaries

World AIDS Day/Day with(out) Art

Debbie says:

Tomorrow, December 1, 2012, is the 24th Day without Art, in commemoration of World AIDS Day. For the first eight years of the Day without Art, many museums and galleries would shut their doors to honor and remember the artists who have died of AIDS. In 1997, however, the initiative shifted to a day with art. Visual AIDS, sponsor of the program, says:

the name was retained as a metaphor for the chilling possibility of a future day without art or artists”, we added parentheses to the program title, Day With(out) Art, to highlight the proactive programming of art projects by artists living with HIV/AIDS, and art about AIDS, that were taking place around the world. It had become clear that active interventions within the annual program were far more effective than actions to negate or reduce the programs of cultural centers.

This year, the group is focusing on screenings of United in Anger: A History of Act-Up, a documentary by Jim Hubbard. A list of screenings in 15 cities around the world tomorrow, plus more before and after the actual day, can be found here.  The film is produced by Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman (who happens to be my first cousin).

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The film is described as:

an inspiring documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement from the perspective of the people in the trenches fighting the epidemic. Utilizing oral histories of members of ACT UP, as well as rare archival footage, the film depicts the efforts of ACT UP as it battles corporate greed, social indifference, and government neglect.

As of 2010, something on the order of 34 million people around the world were living with HIV and AIDS, the largest number being in sub-Saharan Africa.This includes about 2.5 million new cases that year. That is pretty close to the number who have died of AIDS/HIV-related causes around the world since the beginning of the epidemic.

That’s a lot of art (and science and work and family and life) we’ve lost to the virus. I know there are people in my life who deserve remembering. So, go find a screening if you can, or do something else to commemorate the dead and support the living. I’m going to.

From 0 to 100 in Pictures

Debbie says:

This little video completely captured my imagination. Starting with an infant, it quickly shows you a wide variety of people, each one year older than the last. Once you get past the one-year-old, each one says their age (often not in English).

It was filmed in Amsterdam, and here’s what the film-maker says about it:

In October 2011 I started documenting people in the city of Amsterdam, approaching them in the street and asking them to say their age in front of the camera. My aim was to ‘collect’ a group of 100 people, from age 0 to 100. At first my collection grew fast but slowed down when it got down to the very young and very old. The young because of sensivity around filming or photographing children and the very old because they don’t get out of the house much. I found my very old ‘models’ in care homes and it was a privilege to document these -often vulnerable- people for this project. I had particular problems finding a 99 year-old. (Apparently 100 year-olds enjoy notoriety, but a 99 year-old is a rare species…) And when I finally did find one, she refused to state her age. She simply denied being 99 years old! But finally, some 4 months after I recorded my first ‘age’, I was able to capture the ‘missing link’ and conclude this project.

If you think you’re good at guessing ages from how people look, this may surprise you. I also just like the the simplicity of the idea, and just looking at everyone.