Michelle Rinard, Manager of Education and Events, Interim Curator of Exhibitions
The International Museum of Surgical Science
International Museum of Surgical Science opens “The Screening Room: HIV/AIDS Awareness”
Opens: Friday, November 3, 2017 through December 30, 2017
In observation of HIV/AIDS Awareness Month in December, the International Museum of Surgical Science has organized two screenings that address the current history of the impact of HIV/AIDS. Presenting documentary accounts at the height of the AIDS Crisis, Tom Kalin’s 1989 video work They are lost to vision altogether and Gregg Bordowitz’ 2001 autobiographical work Habit, present unique accounts of living and loving with AIDS. In conjunction with this exhibition, the Museum will also screen ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS presented by Visual AIDS in observation of the 2017 Day With(out) Art.
Tom Kalin’s They are lost to vision altogether will be screened on a loop from November 3, 2017 through November 30, 2017. Made in 1989, this film is an erotic counterstrike to the Helms Amendment, the U.S. government’s refusal to fund AIDS prevention information explicitly for gay men, lesbians, and IV drug users. Kalin paints a portrait of the national fear and hysteria that has usurped compassion and care for people with AIDS. With Kalin’s usual visual finesse, the tape eloquently conveys the need for a sane and human response to the crisis that still acknowledges passion and sexuality. Running time 00:13:21.
Visual AIDS’ ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS will be screened on a loop on December 1, 2017. Visual AIDS has commissioned seven artists— Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye with Ellen Spiro, Reina Gosset, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia Labeija, Tiona McClodden and Brontez Purnell–to create short videos ~7 minutes each in length about the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis. This video program is the 28th iteration of Visual AIDS’ longstanding Day With(out) Art project. Curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett, this film looks to prioritize Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic.
Gregg Bordowitz’ Habit will be screened on a loop from December 1, 2017 through December 30, 2017. Habit is an autobiographical documentary that follows the current history of the AIDS epidemic along dual trajectories: the efforts of South Africa’s leading AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign, struggling to gain access to AIDS drugs and the daily routine of the videomaker, a veteran AIDS activist in the U.S. who has been living with AIDS for more than ten years. The videomaker moves through his day, attending to mundane errands, eating, taking pills, having conversations with friends (some of whom have diseases such as AIDS and Breast Cancer, and others of whom are healthy), as recurring memories of a recent trip to South Africa interrupt the routine. Habit presents a rigorous working-through of ideas concerning privilege, ethics, responsibility, futility, solidarity, hope, and struggle. Running time 00:52:23.
About the Museum
The International Museum of Surgical Science was founded in 1954 by Dr. Max Thorek, and is committed to enriching lives by enhancing an appreciation and understanding of the history, development, and advances in surgery and related subjects in health and medicine. The Museum is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, and is housed in a historic lake shore mansion designed in the early 20th century by Howard van Doren Shaw.
Hours and Admission
The Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Museum is closed on major U.S. Holidays. Admission is $15 adults, $12 students, educators, U.S. military and seniors, and $8 children ages 4-13. Ages 3 and under free. Admission to the Museum is free on Tuesdays for Illinois Residents.