Bound: a ritual for Queer Ancestors lost to AIDS (7 minutes, 2020) is a video ritual asking viewers to imagine the empty space left in the wake of the pandemic. Premiering live on December 1st at 5PM, the recorded performance and accompanying lecture and viewer discussions are a part of Day With(out) Art, a day of remembrance and awareness led by Visual Aids. Both the lecture and performance will be available on the VMG website throughout the month of December 2020.
Guiding the viewer through the meditative process of making small, individual stitches with narrow strands of floss, then culminating in the creation of an altar for artists who died from AIDS, artist Michael Espinoza (they/them) communicates the sadness and alone-ness of working without mentorship from an entire generation of queer visionaries. Some names of these artists serve as the soundtrack to this work. Embracing these figures as ancestors, Bound invites those of us who remain to search for inspiration in the memory of these ancestors and to offer our bodies to them on the altar of creativity, survival, and purpose.
Michael Espinoza (they/them) is an emerging artist working in site-specific installation, bricolage, live and durational performance. The major themes in their work include queer identity, Latinx heritage, healing, sex and the body. Their work revolves around the concept and practice of altar-making as a performative act. Michael’s altar practice explores the relationship between living and dead, between grief and joy, and between mourning and celebration. In response to the COVID 19, Michael has begun experiments in embroidery with a COVID mask of embroidered condom wrappers (How To Survive a Plague, 2020) and a new series of bound stone images. New video work includes an installation for Museo de las Americas (A Place/Un Lugar, 2020) and a collaborative conceptual project that imagines the unmade artwork of queer artists lost to persecution, closets, fatal sadness, and disease.
To learn more about Michael and their practice, visit their website at www.michaelespinozaart.com