5' x 3'
Powder coated paint on wool military surplus blanket, 2012

From a collection of work in which HIV disease is anthropomorphized as a separate being.
The duality of living with an incurable disease brings an inescapable tension that is both a blessing and a curse.
It allows the vantage of being able to look outside oneself, to transcend the body in order to isolate and view disease and its elements as a separate entity. HIV is ultimately trapped within the body, but is alien and malignant. The diseased body plays unwitting host to a parasitic relationship in which HIV can not survive outside the body but is not welcome either.That is to say disease is in the body but not of the body.

Bodies afflicted with HIV are at war:
People living with HIV face discrimination, violence, criminalization, persecution, stigma, isolation, and are often relegated to the shadows of society. Internally the body fights against itself, progression of the disease, and foreign hostile elements that look for opportunities to seize upon weakness in the immune system. It is a war fought with antiretroviral drugs, the provision of which has extended and improved quality of life, and reduced the rates of morbidity of those who are afflicted... but the battleground is not an even playing field. Access to treatment is not available for everyone, and it's outcomes can be as challenging and as varied as the disease itself.

These metaphors of the body and war are similar to the rhetoric of military language.
While militarized wars are fought with weapons, their battles are often waged behind the scenes, in isolation, invisible to the public until the scale and level of violence reaches a point where visibility can no longer be ignored. How many more need to die of AIDS related deaths before their plight becomes our plight. How many people suffer in silence, in their own private wars with their own bodies, too afraid to to disclose the very ills which pain them?
In this "progressive" society there are still many of those among us who walk burdened with the weight of this war, but you might not notice them because they may be right beside you - smiling all the while.<span "main-texbr="">
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