CAI is thrilled to bring you a new multi-part blog post. For this series of posts, we are stepping away from our traditional commentary on HIV/AIDS. We will look at HIV/AIDS through the lens of the art and words of Outsider-Kansas City artist, Bruce Burstert, and his former partner Robert Smith, long ago claimed by AIDS. This is the first in a new series of blog post looking at HIV/AIDS through the micro lens of other artists.
Have you ever had someone tell you that they have contracted HIV? We were sitting in the parking lot of a liquor store when he told me. It was surreal; even after all the interviews, all the talks, and information I had around HIV/AIDS, I still found myself speechless and scrabbling to try and not say something dumb, something I knew was not the truth, like, “everything’s going to be okay” because most likely it is going to be okay, but do I know that for a fact?
To elaborate—I thought, for this blog, we might talk less about HIV/AIDS and more about community engagement/social practice art, along the socioeconomic/racial divides. Each one of those subjects is very heavy, and many scholars still ponder them today. So, like in my past posts, I plan on only covering my thoughts and trials that pertain to the Contracting An Issue project.