La Vie Galerie LLC, Livingston, New Jersey’s new arts venue, will commemorate World AIDS Day 2018 (December 1, 2018) with an exhibit of a new “photography narrative,” that is, a fictionalized narrative told in a cinematic style of storytelling using still photography.
The narrative for “I Still Remember” was conceived and directed by gallery owner, Vladimir Rios, and photographed by award-winning photographer, Lester Blum [A&U, August 2016]. It tells a story of love, devastation, and remembrance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Many gay men who lived through that time will recognize both the storyline and the characters in the narrative. “It was a time,” La Vie Gallerie says in its press release, “when men sought an immediate connection, a search for permanence, and a commitment of love,” in the years immediately before the chaotic devastation of the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Fear, rejection, declining health, all became the new normal for many after 1981. When one of the characters in the narrative dies, his lover and friends gather on Fire Island to celebrate his life, keeping him and others alive in their memories. “I Still Remember” is designed to convey to the viewer both the joy and heartbreak of the era.
“I Still Remember” was conceived and executed not only to memorialize those whom we lost to the pandemic, but also to remind all of us that the fight against HIV/AIDS is not over, recognizing how important it is for us to understand our past as we work towards a cure and elimination of the virus.
The new La Vie Galerie LLC, opened in October 2018, is a multi-room gallery which exhibits “emerging, mid-career, and established artists creating contemporary paintings, fine art photography, sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry.” The mission of the La Vie Galerie LLC is two-fold: to provide its artists greater exposure to a new market and to present special exhibits pertaining to social issues, such as “I Still Remember.”
La Vie Galerie LLC, 106 Naylon Aveue, Livingston, New Jersey, 07039 , may be reached by phone at (917) 621-7255 and by email at [email protected]; “I Still Remember” opens on World AIDS Day 2018, December 1, 2018.
—Reporting by Hank Trout
Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.