Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Concordia students curate HIV/AIDS art exhibit

Artistic activism pushes boundaries

Inter-, an art exhibit curated by Concordia University students, interrupts the spring exam schedule with an interdisciplinary interlude in interactive education. It’s put on annually by students of HIV/AIDS: Cultural, Social and Scientific Aspects of the Pandemic, a course that is now its 16th year. “The course combines academic curriculum with relevant community service,” says curator Erin Silver, an art history graduate student and former student in the course.

Students intern with local HIV/AIDS community organizations or sign on to plan the exhibit — a project that involves selecting works, seeking venues and setting the theme. “We adopted interdisciplinarity, in both content and concept, as this year’s theme,” says Silver. The proposal call was open ended and the community answered, submitting work that pushed the limits. She says to expect art of all kinds, reflecting the “virtually limitless possibilities afforded by the name.”

The chosen works examine the boundaries — medical, social and artistic — within and outside the walls of galleries and classrooms. “We received an abundance of submissions that really engaged and experimented with the possibilities,” says Silver. “Much of the art exits the confines of the gallery space itself and is dispersed, almost virally, throughout the city.”

The exhibit also intercedes between academia and the wider community, inviting students, artists and community organizations to participate. “It’s an effort to culminate everyone’s work over the year… not just within the context of the course but across the city,” says Silver.

Interested voyeurs can examine the exhibit as a stand-alone oeuvre, or as a two-week call for community involvement. Look for artist talks, workshops and dance parties from curtain rise on March 30 to curtain fall on April 10. 

If you aren’t saturated in artistic activism yet, check out Project Hope, an art exhibition and auction to raise awareness of AIDS that opened March 21. Proceeds go to AIDS Community Care Montreal, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. Scout out the exhibit until April 11 and bid for your favourites on April 15.