John Walter’s “Alien Sex Club” Explores the Relationship Between HIV and Art

John Walter, Lezi with a LabrysPhoto: Courtesy the artist
John Walter, Lezi with a Labrys
Photo: Courtesy the artist

This Thursday, the exhibition space Ambika P3 in London will become the setting of “Alien Sex Club,” a major multimedia project by British artist John Walter that will explore the relationship between visual culture and HIV today.

Curated by Ellen Mara De Wachter, “Alien Sex Club” tackles the subject of contemporary sexual health through a group of large-scale installations that will recreate the shapes and floor patterns of cruise mazes found in sex clubs and gay saunas. The reference is important for Walter as it is a reminder that during the early AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s many public sex environments were closed by law.

John Walter, Department of Ritual ObjectsPhoto: Courtesy the artist

John Walter, Department of Ritual Objects.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition will be comprised of sculpture, painting, video, and performance. Visitors will be invited to enter an experiential world where they could enjoy visual and live art, eat and drink in a bar, and even have a free rapid HIV test, courtesy of Terrence Higgins Trust.

“Alien Sex Club” will involve artists, activists and HIV specialists, clinical academics, and scientists who will all contribute in a free public program of talks and performances aimed at raising awareness about the issue in an approachable and easily understandable manner.

John Walter, The Witch Confesses that she entered Juliberrys Grave (2013)Photo: Courtesy the artist

John Walter, The Witch Confesses that she entered Juliberrys Grave (2013).
Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

“Alien Sex Club” is part of Walter’s PhD in epidemiology at the University of Westminster, and it will travel to Liverpool in the fall, where it will be part of the Homotopia Festival.

John Walter, Hats for Marrows<br>Photo: Courtesy the artist

John Walter, Hats for Marrows.
Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

John Walter, “Alien Sex Club” will be on view at Ambika P3 from July 24-August, 14 2015.


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