From Ted Kerr’s writing on “Edge of All Things”:

I’m skeptical of culture about generations.

And yet, what else explains the emotion that overtook me upon entering @clampartnyc for EDGE OF ALL THINGS, an exhibition invested in notions of space and what we consider possible across time.

As I entered, on one wall was @zachari_logan ‘s THREE
SUMMERS in pastel, watercolor and pencil. Born in 1980, he is a year younger than me.

Across, was @adamliamrose ‘s granite and conté on paper, I THOUGHT THE SUN ROSE IN YOUR EYES. He was born in 1990.

For me, both works generate a sense of melancholy and romance, a wistfulness connected to body, projection, and possibilities. (The space between what I want and what will happen).

These are timeless themes available to anyone, in any place, at anytime. And yet, in the exhibition, a material reality connects them and the artist’s generations.

Between Logan and Rose was an intricate work of wire, paper and found objects called VIRAL STRUCTURE by @ericrheinart. Encased in something like a delicate birdcage are pieces of paper that illustrate and explain HIV. The virus is contained yet exposed, trapped yet visible. But above all else, the virus’s power is recognized.

For Rhein, born in 1961, this work is hard won. He has been living with HIV since 1987. One can imagine the relationship he felt with the virus when he made this in 1999 has only intensified since.

Interesting about the VIRAL STRUCTURE placement is you can’t see the exhibition without an encounter.

This rings true. For many of us, the presence of the virus can seem unavoidable. And yet, for so long, AIDS seemed like a generational divide. There was a spiderweb of wrongly held assumptions that older people didn’t want to talk about HIV, or younger people don’t have to care. And those of us stuck in the middle were ruled by silence. That web has mostly been swept away but is always in danger of creeping back.

I got emotional in the gallery because I know an encounter with HIV informs many romantic and melancholic feelings. But rather than this being positioned as a barrier, it is positioned in the room as a connection across time, and the start of an experience of how to be in and see the world.

Browse all of Ted Kerr’s writing.

Browse the exhibition “Edge of All Things” at CLAMP.