look at me
In 1993, my younger brother was diagnosed with AIDS. A year later, as a result of the AIDS, he contracted an opportunistic disease-a virus called Cytomegalovirus that attacked his eyes. I made this series of etchings on thin, tissue-weight Chinese calligraphy paper inspired by the fear of his becoming blind and the many months of our societal blindness that ensued. The images are related to the eyes and the optic nerve; they also include hearts and some snippets of text (‘look at me’) and phrases (‘what the eyes don’t see the heart doesn’t feel’). The prints are exhibited such that they partially obscure one another-draped over aluminum rods of a domestic towel- or clothing-drying rack.
In Brazil, where my brother was born, such racks would typically air one’s private articles of clothing in public. When it comes to diseases like AIDS, often a community sees only what it wants to see.