Monday, December 01, 2008

What We Have Lost

As you can see on the right, today is World AIDS Day. Fosco Lives! is participating in a Bloggers Unite event to keep AIDS in focus as a global epidemic.

This is what I'm thinking about today. Two weekends ago, I saw the Passageworks exhibit at the SFMOMA. One of the highlights was the giant golden bead curtain (Untitled) by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Felix Gonzalez-Torres. It is sensuous and gorgeous and fun all at the same time. Here is my picture taken through the curtain:

Of course, as beautiful and joyful as Gonzalez-Torres's works are, there is still an element of sadness to my experience of them. That's because Felix Gonzalez-Torres died in 1996 of complications from AIDS. He was almost 40 years old. In the years since his death, I have watched many museum-goers experience Gonzalez-Torres's art (usually with laughs and smiles of delight). Yet, such experience is bittersweet because Gonzalez-Torres's voice is no longer with us. That we can hear his voice at all is lucky; we have his early work as a testament to what he would have produced in a long, full life. But there are millions of voices that we will never hear, millions of people we will never get to know. They are the artists, musicians, writers, and thinkers that are absent from our lives because of AIDS. And that's what I think about when I think about the cost of AIDS.

Here's something else to think about today:

"CDC recently published national HIV incidence (new infections) that showed an estimated 56,300 new HIV infections occurred in 2006—that’s substantially higher than the previous 40,000 estimated annual new infections. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more."
Want to get tested? You can find an HIV testing site near you.

Some other World AIDS Day blogposts:

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