IV Embrace: On Caregiving & Creativity –
A Panel Moderated by Ted Kerr with Artists
Rafael Sánchez, Joy Episalla, and Lodz Joseph
Thursday, July 14, 2016
6 to 8pm
Organized by Rubin Foundation grantee Visual AIDS, this conversation featured artists and activists Joy Episalla, Rafael Sánchez, and Lodz Joseph in a discussion on the role of caring and caregivers throughout the ongoing AIDS crisis from an artist and doula perspective. Moderated by Ted Kerr, IV Embrace: On Caregiving & Creativity highlighted personal experiences from both sides of the caregiving process: both caring for and receiving care. In conjunction with the exhibition In the Power of Your Care, the event highlighted artworks in the exhibition by Hunter Reynolds and Frank Moore as well as works by Hugh Steers and Kathleen White, among others.
Joy Episalla is a New York-based artist working in photography, video and sculpture. She has exhibited in the United States and in Europe since the 1980s. Last year, Episalla had a solo exhibition at Participant Inc. in New York and her work was featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA/PS1. She is a founding member of the queer art collective fierce pussy. A longtime AIDS activist, Episalla was a member of ACT UP, and currently serves on the board of TAG Treatment Action Group and the Gesso Foundation, founded by the artist Frank Moore. As a close friend of Moore's, she cared for him during the last years of his life until his death on April 21, 2002. Currently her work, as well as Moore's, is featured in the Arts AIDS America exhibition at The Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Lodz Joseph has a Masters in Public Health and is currently at Midwifery School at Columbia University. She recently completed her Bachelors in Nursing at Columbia. She has done both birth and HIV work locally and globally. Joseph is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, and first generation American whose parents are from Haiti. While not at births or studying, she loves being on the beach, writing, and hanging out with her dog, Wendell. She is a member of the What Would An HIV Doula Do? collective.
Theodore Kerr is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He earned his Masters at Union Theological Seminary where he researched Christian ethics and HIV. He was the Programs Manager at Visual AIDS. He is a member of the What Would An HIV Doula Do? collective.
Rafael Sánchez is an artist living in New York City. He has worked collaboratively with his partner Kathleen White and Hunter Reynolds, all of whom have lost and cared for friends with AIDS. In the spirit of community, Sánchez and White created alLuPiNiT (the new york city environ mental magazine) in 2008. alLuPiNiT Vol. 5: Hunter Reynolds, Survival AIDS coincided with Reynolds' 2011 show of the same title at Participant Inc. It was around that time that White offered to help Reynolds adhere to his meds by checking in with him by phone daily, which Reynolds eventually incorporated into his artistic practice with his work Medication Reminder. In the summer of 2013, just weeks after Visual AIDS' Not Over exhibition, which included installations by both Reynolds and Sánchez, White was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. It was an incredibly tragic year but they loved and cared for each other and continued to be artists through all of it. White passed away on September 2, 2014. It was the day after her last show had closed.
What Would An HIV Doula Do? is a collective of artists, activists, writers, doulas, chaplains, health care workers, and others invested and active in the ongoing community response to HIV/AIDS, bridging strategies from the past and present. HIVdoula.tumblr.com
Visual AIDS, founded in 1988, assists artists with HIV/AIDS, while preserving a visual record of their work. The Artist+ Registry is the largest database of work by artists with HIV/AIDS and is open to all HIV+ artists, offering a unique resource to inspire and educate the public. Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully engaged in creating dialogue and scholarship around HIV/AIDS today. They support visual arts projects, exhibitions, publications, and public forums while also assisting in the creation of new artwork.