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Lili Reynaud-Dewar: My Epidemic (Teaching Bjarne Melgaard’s Class)


Lili Reynaud-Dewar uses a range of media such as textiles, sculpture, text, performance and video to create environments in which she examines how gestures of vulnerability and concealment catalyze both exploitation and empowerment. Her practice considers the historical, social and economic construction of the institutions she produces in, and her works expose how these spaces privately and publicly codify bodies and experiences. Reynaud-Dewar works towards mutability, circulation and synthesis, rather than appropriation. She addresses cultural trauma by performing her own personal history alongside the legacies of transgressive cultural figures of the twentieth century, such as Sun Ra, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Josephine Baker and Ettore Sottsass.

My Epidemic is an iteration of artworks, texts, seminars and exhibitions in which she quotes and edits numerous authors influenced by AIDS and its impact on bodies and culture, including Kathy Acker, Leo Bersani, Douglas Crimp and Guillaume Dustan. This body of work performs the virality of artistic, intellectual and social life, by circulating between discourses of epidemiology, collective action, artistic production and identity formation.

Image credit: Lili Reynaud-Dewar, My Epidemic (performance at 56th Venice Biennial, Biblioteca dei Giardini), 2015 Banners, posters, bean bags.

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