Family of Friends, 1991

Made in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, this work embodies many layers of emotion and serves as both a testimonial to and an outcry for the life we had before AIDS. I began this work as a memory piece but it evolved into something more, speaking to loss, fear, what it is to be gay, and strategies for coming to terms with AIDS as a purveyor of fright, sadness, and anger.

The installation consisted of scroll-like panels of photomural paper with images of my friends, community, and hand written dreams or thoughts that occurred to me in response to the loss. I also incorporated x-ray images and statistics I had collected while working in a medical research university’s media department. The panels were exposed in the darkroom multiple times and markings of this process are visible. An artist book titled This is my Hand accompanied the installation and spoke to coming out and embracing my sexuality and also speaking to this larger community.