ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS by Visual AIDS: Tiona Nekkia McClodden
December 1, 2017 marked the twenty-eighth anniversary of Day With(out) Art, a day of mourning and action in response to the AIDS crisis. A presentation of short film and video works held concurrently at over one hundred art institutions and universities, Day With(out) Art is organized annually by Visual AIDS, the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today. This year’s program, ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS, prioritizes Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic and features seven new and innovative short videos from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye and Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia LaBeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, and Brontez Purnell. ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS screened at 116 venues worldwide, premiering at the Whitney Museum of American Art on December 1, with additional marquee screenings at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in collaboration with the Studio Museum in Harlem, as well as the MCA Chicago and LA MoCA.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s The Labyrinth 1.0, 2017, is a poetic film essay that cites writer and poet Brad Johnson’s poem “The Labyrinth,” published in the anthology Milking Black Bull (1995). Sourcing 16-mm surveillance footage, 16-mm 1970s tearoom porn, and structuralist film footage shot in North Philadelphia, the work visually explores the concept of the labyrinth space as a site for cruising and gesture-based desire.