17 December 2013
The exhibition opened ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December and bridges artists’ early response to AIDS in the US in the 1980-90s with today’s urgent need to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in Ukraine. The project, on display until January 5th at PinchukArtCentre, tells the story of the art world’s response to the AIDS epidemics that originated in 1980s in New York when society was shaken by the AIDs-related deaths of photographers and artists, including Félix González-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, Vito Russo, David Wojnarowicz and many more. Included are Hirst's 'fact' painting, 'HIV Aids, Drugs Combination' (2006) which depicts the combination of antiretroviral pills used to treat the HIV/Aids virus, in an outstretched hand. Accompanying the painting is a stainless steel cabinet, ‘Where There's a Will, There's a Way’(2007), which includes rows of the same cluster of pills. Also on display as a work from Hirst's 'Kaleidoscope' series.
Hirst is a longterm supporter of the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation, a charity which seeks to work at all levels – from large national projects to targeted direct assistance to people affected by AIDS epidemi – to combat AIDS in Ukraine. In 2010, Hirst donated a painting to a charity auction organized by the ANTIAIDS Foundation. As a result of the auction, 3 million dollars were raised - the largest amount ever raised for charity in the Ukraine. All proceeds of the auction were donated to the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation for an extended collaborative project with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative.
Elena Pinchuk, Founder of the ANTIAIDS Foundation: “The works we have managed to pull for the exhibition with a symbolic title Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way represent a story of how art community have been reacting to the AIDS epidemics. The majority of the exhibits that you will see today were created as a result of artists’ personal pain of losing their beloved ones to the disease. The works presented within the art space are the stories of loss and hope, stories of changes in society’s reaction towards people affected by HIV/AIDS, stories of how the need to survive shifted cultural boundaries of what was and what was not appropriate to discuss publicly. I hope this exhibition will reach hearts and minds of young people who every day take decisions which outline their future.”
Visit PinchukArtCentre's website for more information.