VAC exhibition explores drug use among gay, bi and queer men
VAC presents 'be-longing for it' - an art exhibition exploring meth use among gay, bi and queer men.
PRONTO! will be converted into a dynamic exhibition space exploring real stories of men who have a lived experience of meth use. 'be-longing for it' will feature the work of Sam Wallman, Myke Vescio and Bailey Sharp and Elwyn Murray spanning across mixed mediums of projection, video, print and sound.
'belonging for it' will stimulate and challenge the audience to reflect on the meaning of connection and intimacy for gay, bi and queer men in 2017 and our relationship to sex and drug use, and encourage conversation on taking care of ourselves and each other.
Eight gay, bi and queer men have shared their personal stories of using meth and the deeper human experiences connected to their sexuality. The work, based on comic illustrations, will explore themes of sexual identity, finding community, seeking connection, intimacy, mental health, risk taking behaviours, stigma, drug use, harm reduction, sex, living with HIV and the desire for belonging.
VAC Project Lead for Alcohol and Drug Projects, Jeremy Wiggins, who is also collaborating with the team of community artists said:
“The project’s goal is to engage the audience in conversation and connection about how drug use, particularly meth use plays a role in gay, bi and queer men's lives and culture, and to stimulate reflection and questions on what that impact is.
He said the project is important as it addresses topics based upon harm reduction, stigma associated with living with HIV, the taboo of drug use and gay sex/intimacy, and how stigma and societal expectations can form very real and dangerous barriers.
“The work will form a creative touchstone that focuses on the relevance of connection and advocacy, whilst complimenting the narratives represented.”
Opening: January 20, 6.30 – 8.30pm, Exhibition runs: 21 Jan 21 – Feb 4, Pronto 175 Rose Street Fitzroy, midsumma.org.au
(Images supplied by Sam Wallman)