Untitled (for six voices)

installation view
© Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Since 1994, the artist and activist collective Ultra-red has developed sound-based inquiries into the political conditions of the AIDS crisis. The 6-channel video installation Untitled (for six voices) is based on a series of performances titled SILENT / LISTEN, which took place in several art institutions in North America and were given by social workers, researchers and activists living with HIV/AIDS. Each performance began with a performance of John Cage’s 4′33″. Subsequently, participants were invited to reflect on the silence and the art respective institution’s relationship to AIDS. These comments, expressing frustration, sadness, and confusion, were recorded. For Untitled, Ultra-red invited six activists to repeat 2-minute loops of excerpts from the recorded comments while performing a specific choreography which had been developed to mimic gestures of political struggle. The work poses the question as to the role of art institutions in the battle against the pandemic.



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