The project “On (A)Liveness”, developed by the Bonner Kunstverein in cooperation with the Camden Art Center of London, is the first European retrospective on the artist, writer and activist Gregg Bordowitz. Born in New York City in 1964, Bordowitz began artistically exploring the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s. In collaboration with ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and various video art collectives, he organised and documented protests against government inaction and advocated for better health education and welfare measures. The works he produced during this period include performances, drawings, sculptures and video portraits which he made of himself and others who live with AIDS. The exhibition sheds light on his personal journey – an artist who has never shied away from sharing his real-life experiences, his Jewish faith, his queer identity and his life with HIV. Bordowitz elevates subjectivity to an artistic method to reflect on political and structural circumstances. His determination to “keep something alive” and the wish for dedication, openness and responsibility toward others form a thematic thread running throughout his works. In addition to new live performances developed in cooperation with international artists and performers, the exhibition also features Bordowitz’s latest video piece “The AIDS Crisis is still beginning” which illuminates the differences and parallels between Covid 19 and AIDS. Bordowitz regards the exhibition itself as a live performance of sorts which engages in conversation with the audience and their emotions. What does it mean to be alive and present in the moment?
A special feature of the project is its focus on access and education to ensure that disabled and neurodiverse people are integrated from the very beginning.
Artist: Gregg Bordowitz
Curator: Fatima Hellberg
Exhibition: Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn: 20 Jan. – 30 Jun. 2024; Camden Art Centre, London: 25 Jan. – 25 May 2025
www.bonner-kunstverein.de (external link, opens in a new window)