Virtual Gala Film Premiere

June 15, 2021 | 7pm EST






The Visual AIDS Vanguard Awards (VAVA) recognize the achievements and contributions of individuals who, through their work, talent and dedication, strengthen the cultural history of art, AIDS and activism in our community—and reinforce the mission of Visual AIDS. We are thrilled to honor and celebrate Dr. Daniel S. Berger, Catherine Gund, and Frederick Weston (1946-2020) with a virtual film premiere on June 15.

While watching, please consider donating to Visual AIDS here. Your tax-deductible donation supports the development of programming at the intersection of art and HIV/AIDS awareness, including exhibitions, events, artist projects, publications, and art-making materials grants for HIV+ artists.

HONORING:

Dr. Daniel S. Berger, presented by Jonathan D. Katz
Catherine Gund, presented by Ivy Kwan Arce
Frederick Weston, presented by Nayland Blake and Pamela Sneed


HONOREE BIOS


DR. DANIEL S. BERGER
Dr. Daniel S. Berger is a leading HIV specialist in the U.S. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois and founder of Northstar Medical Center, the largest private HIV-treatment and research center in Greater Chicago. Dr. Berger is well known internationally, having conducted more than 200 HIV-related clinical research trials and published extensively in medical journals including the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine. In 1992, he conducted the world’s first study of combination therapy for HIV infection, presenting his findings at World AIDS in Amsterdam later that year. This research became a stepping-stone to the AIDS drug cocktail that followed 3 years later. During the years 2005-2010, antiretroviral therapy for HIV disease experienced a revolution in therapeutics. Berger was heavily involved as principal investigator of these agents and co-authored several resultant iconic publications of these studies. Among his book publications, he contributed to "HIV – The First Year, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed" (Marlow & Company) and "Nutritional Aspects of HIV Disease" (Oxford Univ Press). Dr. Berger lectures nationally to physicians, educating them on the latest HIV-research studies. Dr. Berger has served on numerous boards and committees including the Medical Issues Committee for the Illinois AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. In 2006, Berger was honored by Test Positive Aware Network with the Charles E Clifton Leadership Award; in 2016 the Chicago Reader named Dr. Berger as #1 Practitioner of the Year.

Additionally, Dr. Daniel Berger is an active patron of the arts. In 2010, he founded Iceberg Projects, an alternative exhibition space in Chicago. In 2015, Dr. Berger acquired the archives of Art+Positive, an important affinity group of ACT UP New York and co-curated the first exhibition of the archives. To disseminate the ephemera within the archive he co- published Militant Eroticism: The Art+Positive Archives (Sternberg Press, Berlin). Additionally, Dr. Berger curated Chicago’s first David Wojnarowicz solo show and subsequently published David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of My Flesh (SPD, Berkeley, CA). To support young artists, Dr. Berger founded a Scholarship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's MFA program: The Daniel Berger Barbara DeGenevieve Scholorship is awarded each year to a student whose work explores the boundaries of identity, an impassioned theme of the late Barbara DeGenevieve. Beginning in 2016, Dr. Berger was listed by Newcity’s The Art 50 as one of the top 50 most influential individuals in Chicago's Art Community and recently was added to Newcity’s Art Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Board of Governors for the Art Institute of Chicago, member of Collections and Acquisitions Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, member of the Board of Advisors of the Block Museum of Northwestern University and the Board of Trustees of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in NY. When not on a board or practicing medicine, he shares his time with his dog Nero and his life partner Scott.

CATHERINE GUND
Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, Catherine Gund is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and activist. Her media work focuses on HIV/AIDS and reproductive justice, strategic and sustainable social transformation, racial justice, arts and culture, and the environment. Her films have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums, and schools; on PBS, the Discovery Channel, Sundance Channel, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

Gund’s directing credits include Aggie (Director; Sundance), a stunning journey with powerhouse art maverick Agnes “Aggie” Gund who sold a Roy Lichtenstein painting to end mass incarceration through her Art for Justice Fund; America (Producer; directed by Garrett Bradley);  Dispatches From Cleveland (CIFF, MSPIFF); Chavela (Berlinale, Hot Docs, Ambulante); Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity; What’s On Your Plate?; Making Grace; and Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance. Her producing credits include  Primera (Producer; Tribeca Film Festival), a feature documentary that tells the story of activists on the frontlines of the Chilean uprising; A Touch of Greatness (directed by Leslie Sullivan); Motherland Afghanistan (directed by Sedika Mojadidi); and On Hostile Ground (directed by Liz Mermin and Jenny Raskin).

Gund co-founded DIVA TV, an affinity group of ACT UP/NY and the Third Wave Foundation which supports young women and transgender youth. Her AIDS activist documents and videos have been featured in numerous TV shows and films, including VICE Special Report: Countdown to Zero, How to Survive a Plague, United in Anger, and Koch. With Debbie Levine, Gund co-directed I’m You, You’re Me: Women Surviving Prison Living with AIDS (1992). Gund’s additional AIDS activist film credts include Bleach, Teach, and Outreach (1989), which she co-produced with Ray Navarro, Cuz It's A Boy (1994, about the murder of Brandon Teena); Positive: Life with HIV (1993-1995, senior associate producer & segment producer/director) AIDSFILMS’ four hour series for ITVS/PBS about HIV/AIDS targeted at the HIV community covering political, psycho-social, cultural, medical and legal issues of living with HIV/AIDS. Her AIDS Activist Videotape Collection housed at the NY Public Library (1987-1992) documents the activist movement.

Gund was the founding director of BENT TV, the video workshop for LGBT youth. Gund served on the founding board of Iris House, a cornerstone for any woman who was HIV+ in the 1990s. In addition to Iris House, Gund was on the founding boards of Bard Early Colleges, Working Films, Reality Dance Company, and The Sister Fund and has also served for MediaRights.org, The Robeson Fund of the Funding Exchange, The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, and the Astraea Foundation. Gund currently serves on the boards of Art For Justice, Art Matters, Baldwin for the Arts, and is the Chair of The George Gund Foundation. An alumnus of Brown University and Whitney Independent Study Program, she has four children and lives in NYC.

FREDERICK WESTON
Frederick Weston was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1946, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where he participated in the club scene before moving to New York City in the mid-1970s. He studied menswear design and marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He was a self-taught interdisciplinary artist who worked in varied media: collage, drawing, sculpture, photography, performance, and creative writing. Over the course of his time in New York, he developed a vast, encyclopedic archive of images and ephemera related to fashion, the body, advertising, AIDS, race, and queer subjects. He primarily worked in his apartment in New York City.

Weston is represented by Gordon Robichaux, NY, where he presented his first New York solo exhibition in 2019. In 2020, he received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Roy Lichtenstein Award and presented a site-specific installation at the gallery in the Ace Hotel in New York. A new book with an interview between Weston and Samuel R. Delany was be published by Visual AIDS in March 2020. He exhibited his work widely in group exhibitions: Souls Grown Diaspora, apexart (curated by Sam Gordon); Heaven and Hell, Tom of Finland Foundation, Los Angeles; Tag: Proposals on Queer Play and the Ways Forward, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, PA (curated by Nayland Blake); This Must Be the Place, 55 Walker, NY (curated by O.O. & M.M. and Miles Huston); Inside, Out Here, La MaMa Galleria, NY (curated by Eric Booker); A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part I) —, Gordon Robichaux, NY; Art AIDS America, The Bronx Museum of the Arts; Found, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, NY (curated by Avram Finkelstein); CUT HERE (with Matt Keegan and Siobhan Liddell), Gordon Robichaux, NY; Queer Artist Fellowship: Alternate Routes, Leslie Lohman Project Space, NY (curated by Osman Can Yerebakan); and Persons of Interest, Bureau of General Services, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, NY (curated by Sam Gordon). He participated in numerous panels and presented his creative writing and poetry for Visual AIDS; Queer Artists of Color in New York during the AIDS Epidemic, College Art Association of America, 2019 Annual Conference, NY; Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: Smithsonian Archives of American Art Symposium, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Fag, Stag, or Drag? John Neff and Frederick Weston in Conversation, Artists Space, NY; Three Readings: Wayne Koestenbaum, Darinka Novitovic, and Frederick Weston, Gordon Robichaux, NY. In 2017, an oral history with Weston, conducted by Ted Kerr, was published by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art for Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project. Weston’s work has been lauded by Holland Cotter in The New York Times on two occasions, by Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine, and in numerous publications including Arforum, The Brooklyn Rail, and Hauser & Wirth’s Ursula magazine. Frederick Weston passed away on October 21, 2020.

Thank you to our supporters!

Co-Chairs
Agnes Gund
Jim Hodges
Gordon Robichaux, NY (Sam Gordon + Jacob Robichaux)
The Rafael and Diana Viñoly Foundation
Eric Shiner
Lauren Wittels

VISUAL VANGUARD

Art Matters Foundation
Carlos Gutierrez-Solana
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art
Marta Heflin Foundation
Jim McDonough
Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington
Michael Paley and Noel Kirnon

Patrons
Igor DaCosta and James Rondeau
Linda Earle and Joe Sullivan
Dr. Tim Garvey
Elissa Tenny, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson
Meg Malloy
Judy and Bob Neiman
Patrick Owens and Gary Martin


Supporters
Michael Darling and Ashlee Jacob
Rashid Johnson
Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt and Pierre Lenhardt
Carol and Larry Levy
Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi
Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal

Benefit Planning Committee
Matt Connors, Carlos Gutierrez-Solana, Lucas Michael, Wendy Olsoff, Jacob Robichaux, Lauren Wittels, David Yarritu

Young Patrons Committee
Isaac Alpert, Eden Deering, Sydney Fishman, Hollie Pollack

Thank you: Everyone at queenslab, Leilah Babirye, Canada, Matt Connors, Louis Fratino, Gladstone Gallery, Gordon Robichaux, Steven Rosen Photography, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Amy Sillman