The Fundació Joan Miró, the Museo de Arte Contemporànea, Vigo (MARCO) and the ArtAids Foundation present You Are Not Alone, an exhibition curated by Hilde Teerlinck, director of FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais/Dunkerque and Irene Aristizábal. The exhibition has the support and involves the collaboration of Mr Han Nefkens and is sponsored by Fundació Banc Sabadell.
You are not alone was intended to prompt reflection on the discrimination and stigmatisation to which, even today, AIDS sufferers are subject. Although medical advances have increased the expectancy and quality of life of sufferers, at least in the developed world, this progress has not been reflected in a reduction in the social rejection they experience.
In You are not alone, 14 artists from around the world helped to fight stigmatisation by reappraising the causes, consequences and current context of Aids as well as the ways of fighting it.
The ArtAids Foundation had produced works specifically designed for the exhibition by nine internationally acclaimed artists whose work does not generally approach the subject of Aids. The selected artists were: Deimantas Narkevicius (Lithuania), Latifa Echakhck (Morocco), Danh Vo (Denmark/Vietnam), Christodoulos Panayiotou (Cyprus), Lorena Zilleruelo (Chile), Lucy & Jorge Orta (UK and Argentina), Antoni Miralda (Spain) and Elmgreen & Dragset (Denmark and Norway).
The new works were presented with a selection of pieces recently incorporated in the ArtAids collection by David Goldblatt (South Africa), Otto Berchem (United States), Sutee Junavichayanont (Thailand), Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook (Thailand) and Juul Hondius (the Netherlands).
The work of Matthew Darbyshire (United Kingdom), intended to provide a space for reflection about Aids, was presented at the end of the exhibition. A view of the illness by Pepe Espaliú, a Spanish artist who died from Aids in 1993, appeared by way of an introduction.
ArtAids employs art in the fight against Aids by inviting leading artists to produce work dealing with Aids and related issues. These works of art are used to raise public consciousness and to encourage involvement. ArtAids furthermore initiates and supports projects aimed at preventing and fighting Aids.
The ArtAids foundation was set up by the Dutch writer and art collector Han Nefkens, owner of the H+F Collection. Nefkens’ discovery in 1987 that he was HIV positive brought about a radical change in his life. He came to realise that he was living in injury time; each moment is important to him. Han Nefkens sees the intensity of that experience reflected in the world of art, and has decided to use art to increase awareness of the Aids problem and to improve the lives of those living with HIV. Nefkens has established separate ArtAids organisations in the Netherlands, Thailand and Spain.