burger Button

“It could be a fever, because of me, because of you, because of love…” – A photographic approach towards life with HIV

7. November 2002 – 17. February 2003

“We are all in danger”, Pier Paolo Pasolini said in an interview shortly before his murder. His statement, at that time, was admittedly not about the disease first known in the early eighties as the “gay cancer”, then later as AIDS. Nevertheless, Pasolini´s warning can be understood in relation to this deadly new virus. Because of HIV symbiotical desire for union between lovers has become dangerous – just as at the  time when the desire for closeness and affection and its uninhibited expression had simply become life-threatening by syphilis.

There is also a danger to affective relationship between human beings. Many HIV-Positivs and AIDS patients miss attention and warmth.  Many (apparently) healthy people seem to be scared of people suffering by HIV and AIDS. Nevertheless in a “perfect world” we are all in danger, regardless of the classification we fall under – (apparently) healthy, or (apparently) ill.

32 photographs show the present drama of love. Burtscher has begun his own search for the beauty of “imperfect human being”. His work invites the spectator to become aware of his own fears of vulnerabilty. A requisite of childhood, the picture of the Pinocchio, indicates a common human condition: to be dependent on other human beings. Severely ill persons – just as handicaped and old people – revive those childhood experiences of dependency. An other picture, called Torna a Surriento, shows how daily life of many HIV-sufferers is dominated by medicine: on the one hand the pills offer new perspectives of living, on the other hand they can cause severe side effects like diarrhoea. The surgical removal of suspicious moles stands for procedures that in similar ways all of us could have experienced.

The order of the photographs undermines common expectations of spectators by repeating the same motif of an ellbow four times unchanged. Four times for four repeated blood takings a year. The picture Maundy Thursday 2002 opens an other sequence of pictures: as a symbol of love which has turned into something life-threatening by AIDS (also indicated already in the title of my work). In addition the easter moon reminds of sleepless nights, suffering, grief, loneliness and doubt.

Organisation: Wolfgang Theis