Günter Brus

World AIDS Day - 1st December 2009

"Your Story, My Story"

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

Sophie Calle is having her exhibition at Whitechaple Gallery until January the 3rd, 2010. In her striking work Shopie normally takes the audience to an uncomfortable place of emotions.

Her very last exhibition concerns an email she received from her partner in which is stated that he wants to break up with her. Sophie deconstructed this email with several points of view (literature, philosophical, psychological) and she invited 104 women to analyze, interpret and deconstruct the email. The exhibition translates the very moment you received the email, the process of reading the email and different ways, concerning 104 experiences, of interpreting and reacting to those moments and feelings.

I do believe that from the moment you have not experienced a similar situation, as an audience, you feel detached from what is happening or you are perceiving the refereed subject as a stranger. One can just perceive someone's disappointment, rejection, agony when you have been through the exact same experience but even though we do feel it in different ways due to our culture and personality development. The interesting characteristic is that Shopie Calle takes us to similar sensations we might have felt or we might be feeling. Moreover, Sophie underlines the inhuman courageousness someone has by using an inanimate object/technology in order to communicate such delicate matters. Nevertheless, I can express, from my personal experience, that sometimes when such subject has to be transmitted in person the same inanimate embodiment is taken by the announcer. Having said that, I can affirm that this exhibition was a clear methaphor for what I have experienced myself. Moreover I do encounter a similarity with the upcoming research that I am developing. As a consequence, on Identity, Gender and Activism research for dissertation purposes, I will research for my performance proposal on how does an individual loses one's identity when discovering he or she has to live with HIV/AIDS. It can be seen (as in Sophie Calle’s art work) as a similar, involuntary and an immediate shock upon recieving an information.


Main Entry: frag·ile (sound)
Pronunciation: \ˈfra-jəl, -ˌjī(-ə)l\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin fragilis — more at frail
Date: 1521

1 a : easily broken or destroyed b : constitutionally delicate : lacking in vigor
2 :
tenuous, slight

fra·gil·i·ty (sound) \frə-ˈji-lə-tē\ noun

synonyms fragile, frangible, brittle, crisp, friable mean breaking easily. fragile implies extreme delicacy of material or construction and need for careful handling fragile antique chair>. frangible implies susceptibility to being broken without implying weakness or delicacy<frangible stone used for paving>. brittle implies hardness together with lack of elasticity or flexibility or toughness <brittle bones>. crispimplies a firmness and brittleness desirable especially in some foods <crisp lettuce>. friable applies to substances that are easily crumbled or pulverized <friable soil>.
synonyms see in addition weak

Most recent bloodwork:


I get bloodwork done every three months, more or less. My next test is overdue now.

CD4 count: 413 (32%)

The CD4 (T-cell) count is an indicator of my immune function — the higher the better (lower CD4 counts mean a greater likelihood of getting opportunistic illnesses). Ideally I want more than 500 T-cells, but anything above about 300 is pretty much OK and things don’t get serious unless they drop below about 100.

Viral load: undetectable (<50)

The viral load test measures the amount of HIV circulating in my bloodstream — the lower the better. Ideally it should be ‘undetectable’, which means that the test that was used wasn’t able to find any virus at all. Viral load is the best measure of how well my medications are working.

Medications: etravirine, 3TC, abacavir.

I changed my combination in early 2009, after more than nine years on the same combination (efavirenz, 3TC and abacavir). As well as taking these drugs for HIV, I take several others to prevent opportunistic infections and control other health problems. In total I take 7 pills per day.
I’ve been taking medication to control my HIV infection almost continuously since 1991-08-06; in that time I estimate that I’ve taken about 54923 pills.

CD4 nadir: 140

The nadir is the lowest point my CD4 count ever reached. A very low CD4 nadir can make it harder to restore the immune system over time. 140’s a little low but not too bad.

Weight: 78kg

BMI: 26

Avoiding weight loss is important for people with HIV – losing weight is often the first sign that something’s amiss. Weight loss can be caused by HIV infection directly, by opportunistic infections or as a side-effect of medications. My lowest-ever weight was 57kg.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a way of calculating whether I’m overweight or underweight for my height and body type. It should be between 20 and 25, but I’m happy for it to go a little higher.

ALT: 85

Alanine transaminase (ALT) is a liver enzyme. High levels of ALT in the blood can indicate that my liver is unwell, possibly because of hepatitis or as a side effect of the medications I’m taking. Ideally, my ALT level should be under 47, but it rarely is.

The graph

A graph is probably the best way to show the longer-term trends in my bloodwork, which are more important than individual sets of results.

Host | Filipe Canha
Event | Performance
Time | 4pm - 5pm
Location | Project Room
Street | Wimbledon College of Art
Merton Hall Road, London SW19 3QA
Phone | 07554973325
Email | bodycanha@gmail.com

In the past friday 6th of November 2009, the VLP (Visual Language of Performance) students had a meeting in order to resolve why unequivocally they have been refused access to the Lecture Theatre after being booked by Douglas O'Connell (VLP Course Tutor ). Since the beginning of the year the students have been confronted with a variety of problems that are similar to the one that had happened. Due to the lamentable happening all the exhibitions and performances were canceled.

Nothing is more extreme than the aim for truth – the fragility,

degradation, and transformation of the body and mind.