In the small foyer of the 8th Floor gallery, a video shows artist Carmen Papalia with a bullhorn in place of a cane — Papalia, who is blind, beckons those who pass him as he strolls the sidewalk of a busy Vancouver street, making a public declaration of his need to cross.
One might be led to think, from the title of Hunter Reynold’s current exhibition at PPOW Gallery, Survival AIDS Medication Reminder, that the show deals with issues of health and physical condition, or perhaps reminiscence.
Living blocks from Ground Zero since 2004, I’ve never been a fan of the September 11 tribute overload with its countless ceremonies, blocked streets, morbidly curious tourists and nutty 9/11 Truthers. This year, I spent 9/11 watching visual and performance artist Hunter Reynolds in a 9/11 tribute Mummification performance, which was an intensely powerful experience.
The most visceral pieces in Brooklyn-based artist and activist Hunter Reynolds’ solo show Survival AIDS at Lower East Side nonprofit art space Participant Inc. are not, as one might expect, the blood splattered newspaper clippings screaming ominous headlines posted on the walls of the gallery. Rather, it’s the packing tape mummies collapsed on the floor and suspended from the walls that are the real shockers. The bodies missing from their cocoons seem to have only recently burst out, resurrected.