Jessica Whitbread

In February 2015, Visual AIDS hosted AIDS & Its Metaphors in collaboration with Issue Project Room at Artists’ Space. Below, see video of Jessica Whitbread reading from “Tea Time: Mapping Informal Networks of Women Living with HIV.”

On Friday, May 29, Visual AIDS hosts Metaphors & Their Distemper, a follow-up reading event at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Artists and authors Gregg Bordowitz, Morgan Bassichis, Orlando Ferrand, Park McArthur, Stacy Szymaszek and Frederick Weston perform readings considering diagnosis, disease, coping and wellness. HIV is a primary focus, yet the theme is inclusive of all ailments and predicaments and their embodiments in writing.

We hope to see you this Friday at The Whitney at 6:30 p.m.! Event information here.

Watch additional AIDS & Its Metaphors readings by Timothy DuWhite, Pamela Sneed, Lynne Tillman and Bordowitz here.

AIDS & Its Metaphors was produced in conjunction with the inaugural publication of Visual AIDS’s Duets series, “Stephen Andrews & Gregg Bordowitz in Conversation” (2014), which features a conversation between Bordowitz and Visual AIDS artist member Stephen Andrews. Duets is a series of publications that pairs artists, activists, writers and thinkers in dialogues about their creative practices and current social issues around HIV/AIDS. In the first publication of the series, Bordowitz speaks to longtime friend Andrews about painting, poetry, cosmology, and survival. Tillman writes the publication’s foreword. Further information on the publication can be found here.

Jessica Whitbread works in the realm of social practice and community art, often merging art and activism to engage a diversity of audiences in critical dialogue. Whitbread, a Visual AIDS artist member, often uses her own her own body and experience as a queer woman living with HIV as the primary site of her work. In her head the entire world is a pantsless tea party, full of awkward yet playful interactions that challenge heteronormative and mainstream assumptions about bodies, sexuality and desire. Her ongoing projects include LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN: Romance Starts at Home, No Pants No Problem, Tea Time, and PosterVIRUS (AIDS ACTION NOW!). Whitbread is the global community relations and mobilization manager for the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW), a board member of the Canadian HIV Legal Network, and a steering committee member of AIDS ACTION NOW!.