Lucía Egaña Rojas, Female Disappearance Syndrome, 2020

Lucía Egaña Rojas challenges gendered representations of HIV and AIDS, investigating what Lina Meruane has termed “female disappearance syndrome”—the erasure of women living with HIV from conversations about the epidemic.

Commissioned in 2020 as part of TRANSMISSIONS, a program of six new videos considering the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States.

About the artist
Lucía Egaña Rojas is a Chilean artist who currently lives in Barcelona. Her work problematizes the relationship between high and low culture, high-tech and low-fi, public and private space, and the relationship between the global north and south. She studied visual arts in Chile and completed a master's degree in creative documentary and a PhD in post-pornography in Spain. She is currently teaching at the Independent Studies Program of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona while developing two research projects and producing embroidery, videos, and performances.

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Additional context

The Chilean writer and professor Lina Meruane coined the phrase “female disappearance syndrome” in her book Viral Voyages: Tracing AIDS in Latin America, which examines literary representations of AIDS in Latin America.

Hear more from Lina Meruane in episode 1 of THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, a web series produced by J Triangular, Visual AIDS’ 2019 Curatorial Resident.

Lucía’s video is based on research by María Julieta Obiols on the experiences of women living with HIV in Argentina. To read more about these testimonies, see Obiols’ research here or Marta Dillon’s 2004 book Vivir con virus: Relatos de la vida cotidana (both available in Spanish only).  

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