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Faces of AIDS acts as a living memorial to those who perished early in the epidemic. Read more below.
Jim Wigler's Faces of AIDS exhibit showed the world 101 people infected with the virus during the mid 1980s in the Bay Area, when too many people were still turning away from what was happening. In this gallery are rescans of the original negatives. The Advocate plans on posting all 101 portraits as the project funds.
"To humanize the epidemic, I took a close-up portrait of each person smiling, looking wonderful, and looking awesomely human," said Wigler. "The main impetus was to ameliorate the public's fear of getting too close to and helping neighbors who were suffering."
Eventually, after three years of work, Faces of AIDS opened at the San Mateo County Fair. Then it went on to Grace Cathedral and the Moscone Center (both in San Francisco). It eventually toured around the country with the Names Project Quilt. The whereabouts of the original prints are unknown and presumed destroyed. This newest project entails scanning the original negatives in high resolution as well as printing digital editions of each portrait. The ultimate goal is to archive both the original negatives and the high-resolution, digital prints.
The Oakland Museum is considering hanging the exhibit in 2019. Wigler says, "My hope is that people will be interested in what it was like when a plague began to sweep across the community."
Please show your support for preserving Faces of AIDS for future generations at GoFundMe.com.
Objectives of Faces of AIDS GoFundMe Campaign:
• Create a Faces of AIDS web page.
• Scan original negatives into high resolution files.
• Digitally remaster portraits in Photoshop.
• Print and mount one copy of each portrait.
• Backup & archive all data files.
• Seek appropriate sponsors and venues for exhibition.
See more about Jim Wigler on his Facebook page.