Thursday 09/19/13 7PM

ACT NOW: Perspectives on Contemporary Performance and HIV/AIDS

Cover Image:

Julie Tolentino, THE SKY REMAINS THE SAME: Ron Athey’s Self Obliteration # 1, 2011. Performance. Photograph by Thomas Qualmann

This event is free, but seating is limited.Please RSVP here:”:
Please note: There is no late seating for this event. RSVP tickets will not be held after 7pm the day of the event.

Visual AIDS and the New Museum present an evening of conversation between performers Justin Vivian Bond, Hunter Reynolds, and Julie Tolentino, whose works each approach the ongoing AIDS crisis in a variety of important and profound ways. Moderated by Benjamin Shepard, the discussion will explore the evolving role that performance has played in the context of HIV/AIDS, while highlighting a diverse spectrum of performance practices that exemplify contemporary HIV/AIDS engagement.

The talk is organized in conjunction with “NOT OVER,” a project celebrating Visual AIDS’s twenty-five years of activity, and “Performance Archiving Performance,” part of the Fall 2013 Season: “Archives” at the New Museum.

Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a writer, singer, painter, and performance artist. Mx Bond was nominated for a Tony Award for Kiki & Herb: Alive On Broadway in 2007. Other notable theatrical endeavors include starring as Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis in Scott Wittman’s production of Jukebox Jackie: Snatches of Jackie Curtis as part of La Mama E.T.C.’s 50th Anniversary Season, originating the role of Herculine Barbin in Kate Bornstein’s groundbreaking play Hidden: A Gender, touring with the performance troupe The Big Art Group, and appearing in John Cameron Mitchell’s film Shortbus. Mx Bond is a recipient of an Ethyl Eichelberger Award, a Peter Reed Foundation grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant for performance art/theater, an Obie, and a Bessie.

Julie Tolentino’s career spans over two decades of dance, installation, and site-specific durational performance. Her diverse roles have included host, producer, mentor, and collaborator with artists such as Meg Stuart, Ron Athey, Madonna, Catherine Opie, David Rousseve, Juliana Snapper, Diamanda Galàs, Stosh Fila, Robert Crouch, Elana Mann, Mark So, Gran Fury, and Rodarte. Tolentino is deeply influenced by her extensive experience as a caregiver, an Eastern and aquatic bodyworker, a highly disciplined contemporary dancer, and as proprietress of Clit Club in New York. Her manifold, exploratory duet/solo practice includes installation, dance-for-camera, and durational performance engaging improvisation one-to-one score-making and fluids, including blood, tears, and honey. As an extension of her practice after twenty-five years in New York City, she designed and built a solar-powered live–work residency in the Mohave Desert called FERAL House and Studio, where she explores the remote forms of physical inquiry through landscape and texts. She has received numerous grants and fellowships. She is currently the editor of Provocations in the Drama Review-TDR (MIT Press). Her works have been commissioned by The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Invisible Exports, Performa ’05, and in the UK by Spill Festival, Tramway, DanceExchange, and queerupnorth. Recent tours include England, Europe, Myanmar, the Philippines (at Manila Contemporary and Green Papaya Gallery), and Theaterworks in Singapore. She has been presented at Broad Art Space at University California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Commonwealth & Council, Honor Fraser, PSI19 at Stanford, Perform Chinatown, and Install Weho. In 2013, she created new performance and objects for the Reanimation Library Project in Joshua Tree, FIRE IN HER BELLY at Maloney Fine Art, LACE Auction 2013, Body/Mind at Cypress Gallery, High Desert Test Sites 2013, and an Aaron Turner collaboration at Night Gallery, Los Angeles. She will be premiering new works at UCLA, NYU Abu Dhabi, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2014. She is currently based in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree.

Benjamin Shepard, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Human Service at New York City College of Technology/City University of New York. He received his Masters at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, his PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and his training in psychoanalysis from the William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, and Psychology in their Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program. As a social worker, he worked in AIDS housing settings from San Francisco to Chicago to New York, where he directed the start-ups for two congregate housing programs for people with HIV/AIDS, as well as served as Deputy Director at CitiWide Harm Reduction. Recent works include Play, Creativity, and the New Community Organizing (Routledge, 2011), Queer Political Performance and Protest (Routledge, 2009), The Beach Beneath the Streets: Exclusion, Control, and Play in Public Space (cowritten with Greg Smithsimon; SUNY Press, 2011), and Community Projects as Social Activism (Sage). In 2010, he was named to the Playboy Honor Roll as one of twenty professors “who are reinventing the classroom.”

Hunter Reynolds works in several mediums, including performance, photography, installation, and collage. He is a Visual AIDS artist member, a founding member of Art Positive, and an early member of ACT UP. He has been making work for over thirty years. Recently, collateral work relating to Patina du Prey’s Memorial Dress — a long term performance by Reynolds — was part of “NOT OVER” at La MaMa Galleria. Reynolds is represented by P.P.O.W in New York.


Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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