Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Vangardist

Vangardist
This month, two magazines - Audio Kultur and Vangardist - have both been printed with blood. Audio Kultur, a Lebanese music magazine, commemorated the centenary of the Medz Yeghern genocide in Armenia by infusing its red ink with the blood of five donors.

Vangardist's third issue has been printed with red ink mixed with the blood of three HIV+ donors, in an effort to destigmatise the AIDS virus. (The ratio is one part blood to twenty-eight parts ink.) The magazine is available in a limited edition of 2,500 copies; each one is sealed in a Mylar wrapper (like Madonna's Sex book), and the blood has been sterilised to prevent infection. The cover declares: "THIS MAGAZINE HAS BEEN PRINTED WITH THE BLOOD OF HIV+ PEOPLE".

The art installation Happy Hour (1998) by Fernando Arias also used HIV+ blood to destigmatise AIDS; Arias placed the infected blood in a sealed cocktail glass. Also, Geoffrey Robertson wrote in his memoir The Justice Game (1998) that, as a director of the ICA, he cancelled an appearance by "an HIV-positive performance artist whose idea of attaining empathy with his audience was to splatter them with infected blood (his own)."

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