Eyes Wide Shut – Visual Meditations on the Plague
McNichols Civic Center Building, First Floor Nook
June 1-29, 2023
Denver played a pivotal role in early AIDS activism as the center for a human rights movement pushing compassion, empathy and respect for those living with HIV and AIDS. In June, 1983, a group of people living with AIDS came together and created The Denver Principles, a revolutionary affirmation that demanded respect, dignity and autonomy for those living with HIV.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of this momentous declaration, we present “Eyes Wide Shut – Visual Meditations on the Plague,” an art exhibition exploring how some saw the plague of AIDS and decided to do nothing about it, and those who instead stepped forward to bring the epidemic into the light. Through a new perspective, we gain insight into our role in history (including violence and protests), and move through discovery, despite pain and loss along the way. Ultimately, this journey brings us to hope and transcendence.
The exhibition raises thought-provoking questions pertaining to the AIDS epidemic, such as “What do we do?” and “What did we do?” and “What should we do?” while chronicling the tragic history of AIDS and its impact on America.
The exhibition begins by exploring artists who have represented the gay community since the start of the epidemic. Some works do not explicitly reference AIDS and HIV, but leave a haunting imprint of that time and space. The exhibition also includes current works from contemporary artists exploring related themes such as loss, erotica and the impact of social media.
This exhibition includes adult images and themes.
Father Bill McNichols
Exhibit Reception: June 16, 4-7 pm.