Previously exhibited on World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2014, at the historic Fortress Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Preservatif is now traveling nationally, adding new artworks from local artists from each location.
Opening on Saturday, June 27th, 2015, from 3pm-10pm at Marshall Arts in Memphis, Tennessee, "Preservatif", an art exhibition made out of a donation of 21,000 pounds of expired condoms celebrates it's second show on National HIV Testing Day. The event will feature local live music, art, and onsite HIV testing.
The opening event is free and open to the public, with a recommended $5 donation at the door. A VIP Preview party will run from 1pm-3pm on the 27th with an open bar. Tickets to the VIP Preview are $25. Proceeds go to benefit people living with HIV/AIDS and promoting sexual education.
Local entertainment includes: Brandon Taylor, Bluff City Backsliders, Jeremy Scott, Mark Edgar Stuart, Marcella & Her Lovers, and Kitty Dearing & Her Darling Gentlemen.
This exhibition is generously supported by Choices, Planned Parenthood of the Greater Memphis Region, Healthy & Free Tennessee, Community HIV Network, and Friends for Life.
The exhibition will run Saturday, June 27th through Thursday, July 23rd.
Background: Niki Johnson, graduate of the University of Memphis and creator of "Eggs Benedict", the condom portrait of Emeritus Pope Benedict that gained international attention 2013, was donated a full semi of French condoms (-preservatif is the French word for condom) nearing expiration in the fall 2013. Rather than seeing this shipment go to a landfill, Johnson and co-curator Kim Hindman (former faculty in the Art Department at the University of Memphis), selected a group of 22 national and international artists to transform a shipment into "Preservatif"- an exhibition that focuses on the condom as a material to be re-imagined and reinterpreted. As the show travels, local artists are invited to create new work to be included in each venue. The exhibition will continue until all 21,000 lbs of condoms are gone.
Artworks featured in this exhibition range from small to enormous scale, and are presented as sculpture, jewelry, photography, film, ceramics, fibers, and mixed media artworks.
Art and Activism are two words one hears often in the same sentence. Alone each does remarkable things, but together art and activism have the power to change perceptions, demystify taboos, and expand world understanding. "Preservatif" is looking to do just that.