For Day With(out) Art 2016, Visual AIDS presented COMPULSIVE PRACTICE, a video compilation of compulsive, daily, and habitual practices by nine artists and activists who live with their cameras as one way to manage, reflect upon, and change how they are deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.
From video diaries to civil disobedience, holiday specials and backstage antics, Betamax to YouTube, COMPULSIVE PRACTICE displays a diversity of artistic approaches, experiences, and expectations. The compulsive video practices of these artists serve many purposes—outlet, lament, documentation, communication, empowerment, healing—and have many tones—obsessive, driven, poetic, neurotic, celebratory. COMPULSIVE PRACTICE demonstrates the place of technology, self-expression, critique, and community in the many decades and the many experiences of artists and activists living with HIV/AIDS.
COMPULSIVE PRACTICE highlights subjects ranging from historic actions against government neglect to contemporary issues such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and living with an undetectable viral load. Altogether, the program charts over three decades of AIDS-related video production in the face of the ongoing crisis.
COMPULSIVE PRACTICE is curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan for Visual AIDS. Participating video makers and artists include Juanita Mohammed, Ray Navarro (1964–1990), Nelson Sullivan (1948–1989), the Southern AIDS Living Quilt, James Wentzy, Carol Leigh aka Scarlot Harlot, Luna Luis Ortiz, Mark S. King, and Justin B. Terry-Smith.
Numerous museums, universities, and AIDS organizations screened COMPULSIVE PRACTICE on/around December 1, 2016 for Day With(out) Art / World AIDS Day. See a complete list of screenings here.
Visual AIDS presented marquee screenings at the New Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.