Denise Green – 2022 Cornell Biennial


Threads of Life, Love, & Loss: An HIV/AIDS Story

Articles of Displacement

“Threads of Life, Love, & Loss: An HIV/AIDS Story”

This exhibition reanimates the lives of two lovers and their community through fashion, arts, activism, and archives they created to navigate uncertain futures amidst the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic. The multimodal exhibit centers Mark Goldstaub (1951-1988), a Jewish gay man who worked in performing arts and became HIV-positive in the mid-1980s, along with his partner Edmund Wojcik (1955 – 1995), their larger community, and the ideological transformation of Mark’s family. Of particular focus is his mother, Sylvia, who initially rejected Mark’s sexuality but later embraced it and became invested in HIV/AIDS activism and archiving its history. The archive comes alive through curatorial praxis and documentary filmmaking, where catalogued pasts become unfolding futures that (re)connect the living and the dead through extant fashions, activist artifacts.

“Articles of Displacement”

How will ideas about naturalization and Indigeneity shift as populations are forced into motion by climate change? What becomes of local communities, shared social and cultural identities, and at a more fundamental level, relationships to place, plants, and protection? Denise Green and visiting artist Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas approach “Futurities, Uncertain” by challenging colonial and capitalist regimes that have brought us here: industrialization of agriculture and fiber production. At the crux of this inquiry is the proposition that, by rebuilding connections to raw materials needed for survival and creating inter-reliant systems, we can imagine a future where place-making is once again an embodied, collective, material, inter-species endeavor.

Denise Green (United States)

Denise Nicole Green is an Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design and Director of the Cornell Fashion + Textile Collection (CF+TC). Professor Green’s research uses ethnography, video production, archival methods, and curatorial practice to explore production of fashion, textiles, identities, and visual design. She is also a faculty member in American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, and the American Studies Program, as well as a graduate field member in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell.

Professor Green received a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of British Columbia. With the Ethnographic Film Unit at UBC and Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations communities, she directed a series of documentary films exploring textilesidentity, and Aboriginal title. She has continued this work, and recently directed the film, Mapping Regalia in Hupacasath Territory, which debuted at the Textile Society of America’s Biennial Conference Film Festival. Prior to her work on the Northwest Coast, Professor Green earned a Master of Science in Textiles from the University of California–Davis where she researched fashion and gender expression at the Burning Man Festival. During her undergraduate program at Cornell University she studied fashioned youth subcultures and completed an honors thesis about redesigning 4-H clothing club curriculum for the 21st century.

To learn more about Professor Green’s accomplishments, check out her page on Cornell’s website.

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