Habit was an installation funded by Ga Equality in 2016 for World AIDS Day. I was paired with a person living with HIV and asked to recreate their life and what they wanted the world to know about living with HIV. The piece is 24 hours in the life of Ryan. The red thread throughout the piece represents every time throughout the day that he was reminded he was living with HIV. And in the center of the work is a telephone that has recordings of every reaction he’d ever received when he told people he was living with HIV.
Habit attempts to manifest the life of a person living with HIV/AIDS. It simulates the daily routine, battles, triumphs and everyday glories that a person faces when combating life with HIV/AIDS. The installation revolves around three major themes: overcoming stigma, the marginalization of living with HIV/AIDS, and society’s response to a person living with HIV/AIDS. The installation is not limited to these ideas. It provokes the viewer to engage with the pieces as well as connect on a more intimate level. The installation consists of several mediums to create a universal perspective on these themes. It utilizes photography, thread, and a recording to conceptualize the themes. Its attempt to create an expansion that involves both the audience and the room. Surface is used to give the audience the ability to connect with three-dimensional objects while simultaneously connecting with self. It attempts to create a responsive space for a viewer that allows them to explore the possibility of contracting HIV and what that would look and feel like on a daily basis. It creates an interactive narrative that builds off of memories and instantaneous thoughts. The display explores 24 hours in the life of one persons view of living with HIV/AIDS.
The installation incorporates three different mediums. Photography, documents memories and instantaneous encounters. The perspective of the photos are from the viewpoint of the person living with HIV/AIDS but transposes in a way so that the viewer reacts to it as themselves. The 3-Dimensional phone gives the audience the ability to interact with the installation. Through the recordings on the telephone, it eliminates the space between an audience’s view of HIV/AIDS and someone living with. The recordings are reactions that the person has received on multiple occasions after telling a person that they are living with HIV/AIDS.
Combining the thoughts and images of a person living with HIV/AIDS and the stigmatized views on the telephone create a realization for the audience of what living with HIV/AIDS feels like in 2017.