CANCELED – Visual AIDS presents: Dumb Type, “S/N” (1994)
Sunday, April 05, 2020 5:00 pm
Event hosted by: Visual AIDS
Due to COVID-19, this event is canceled / postponed. Stay tuned for further updates.
A special presentation of a recording of Dumb Type’s 1994 performance “S/N,” a provocative response to the AIDS crisis in Japan and beyond.
To launch the eighth International Curatorial Residency with Japanese curator Sho Akita, Visual AIDS presents a special screening of Dumb Type’s S/N. This event will be the first time that documentation of the performance has been shown in New York City.
Founded in 1984 by fifteen art students working in Kyoto, Dumb Type’s experimental theater projects combine dance and performance with ambitious multimedia installations. Teiji Furuhashi (1960–1995), a central figure in the group, came out as HIV positive to his collaborators in 1992, prompting the collective to produce a major performance piece responding to the AIDS crisis. The resulting work, S/N, used the notion of a “signal to noise” ratio as a structuring metaphor, challenging Japan’s silence about AIDS with explicit discussion of gay identity, stigma, sex work, and border politics.
Incorporating a two-level set, elaborate choreography, live video, and projection, the performance was critically acclaimed and toured to more than twenty cities around the world. Though Dumb Type hoped to perform S/N in New York, only one venue in Seattle was willing to present the piece in the United States.
This event is the first in a series of programs about the life and work of Japanese artist Teiji Furuhashi, organized with Japanese curator Sho Akita, Visual AIDS’ eighth international curatorial resident. For the month of April, Sho will research Furuhashi’s time in New York, building an archive of the creative exchange that Furuhashi facilitated between Japan and the United States. Read more about Sho’s research on the Visual AIDS blog.
Visual AIDS’ curatorial residency is co-sponsored by Residency Unlimited and supported in part by a grant from the Japan Foundation, New York. Visual AIDS thanks Dumb Type and Normal Screen for making this screening possible.
Image: Performance documentation of Dumb Type’s “S/N” (1994) with Teiji Furuhashi and Bubu de la Madeleine. Photo: Kazuo Fukunaga