Azizi Curtis and Sade Swift were students in Ricardo Montez's Spring 2014 class "Queer Art and the Legacy of AIDS" at The New School for Public Engagement. As part of the class they, and other students, participated in the curation of the Visual AIDS Summer 2014 exhibition, " Ephemera As Evidence" at La MaMa Galleria, curated by Montez and Joshua Lubin-Levy.

Working with the artist, or artists' estate, the students helped select, research, and consider one artist and their work in context of the class and the exhibition. They also created additional material regarding the artist. Curtis and Swift worked with Peter Cramer and Jack Waters. Dancers, activists, artists, Cramer and Waters have been partners and collaborators for three decades. For the exhibition they created an installation, a stage entitled, LA RECHERCHE DU TEMPS TROUVÉ (pictured above).

Inspired by Cramer and Waters, Curtis and Swift created a small film entitled, Splattered Memories. See their statement below.

Splattered Mementos from Azizi Curtis on Vimeo.
When Azizi Curtis and Sade Swift met Jack and Peter they were welcomed by their vibrant energy and enthusiastic spirit for their art and activism. Their willingness to share their lives and unravel this timeline of how is has progressed sparked a fire within Azizi and Sade. Jack seemed mesmerized by the events that occurred within his life with Peter and reminisced on his past through photos and writing. Peter enjoyed analyzing these experiences and traced them through the photos and videos that he had taken. Jack is very front lines, while Peter is more behind the scenes and that’s what makes their collaboration and work so dynamic and unique.

Through this video Azizi and Sade are trying to represent the lives of these two artist. The poem is a reflection of the love that Jack has for writing, as well as a timeline of Jack and Peter’s life living with HIV/AIDS in New York CIty. The burning to the poem represents their sense of living in the now and allowing their past to be the past, but using it as a way to shape their future. Their past does not hold them back, rather propelled them forward.

Peter Cramer

Jack Waters