Horsecross Arts and Perth College UHI are, once again, collaborating on the curating and staging of an annual student exhibition for World AIDS Day.

This is the sixth year that the two Perth organisations have worked together on an exhibition exploring the global AIDS pandemic and the widespread HIV stigma.

Entitled Let’s End It, this year’s exhibition features new site-specific installations alongside artworks on paper, canvas and screens by 40 students in Year 1 and 2 of Contemporary Art Practice and Visual Communications at Perth College UHI. Let’s End It opens on the eve of World AIDS Day, Monday, 26 November 2018 at 6pm at Threshold artspace, Perth Concert Hall.

The exhibition preview is free but ticketed and everyone is welcome. It includes live performances, guided tours, outdoor illuminations, artists’ talks and a feature film screening event. The 6th annual student AIDS exhibition is curated by the Perth College UHI students, Iliyana Nedkova, Simon Reekie and Helen Roger.

The Let’s End It exhibition will continue for a week until Monday, 3 December 2018 with free admission and free guided tours by the exhibiting student artists. The exhibition is open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (or late on performance evenings) at Threshold artspace, Perth Concert Hall where it will be invigilated by the students from 10am-4pm daily.

The title of this year’s exhibition Let’s End It is inspired by ongoing national campaign advocating to end HIV transmission, to end stigma, to end HIV-related discrimination. Just like the previous five annual exhibitions, Let’s End It explores the relationship between contemporary art and political activism posing the question – could a student exhibition in a regional contemporary art museum impact the nation-wide activism campaign?

Let’s End It is also part of the lighting up red campaign for World AIDS Day. The external lights on the recently redeveloped and restored Perth Theatre and the glazed foyer of the Perth Concert Hall will glow bright red for the first day of the Let’s End It exhibition on Monday, 26 November 2018 and again on World AIDS Day, i.e. Friday, 1 December 2018. 

For the first time this year as part of the Let’s End It exhibition Horsecross Arts and Perth College UHI are working in partnership with Perth Film Society who are supporting the free preview screening of 120 Beats per Minute – a French drama film which won four awards at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Iliyana Nedkova, co-curator of Let’s End It and creative director for contemporary art for Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:

“As part of Let’s End It exhibition, we are proudly updating the participatory artwork Positive Negative – one of the 250 works in our museum acquisition programme which we have pioneered and managed since 2005 across the 30+ screens and as many gallery walls of the Threshold artspace. As of 26 November 2018, Positive Negative will display striking portraits of the participating students alongside the participating activists from ACT UP London and STOP AIDS London – the two groups committed to direct action to end the HIV-related stigma. You will also see a self-portrait of the Estonian British artist and activist Mare Tralla who initiated the artwork and delivered a masterclass on art and activism at Perth College.”

As part of the co-curatorial team, Simon Reekie, Programme and Course Leader of Contemporary Art Practice at Perth College UHI, said:

“I am very proud that we have reached the sixth anniversary of our annual students exhibitions marking the World AIDS Day. I am also delighted that we have been able to continue our collaboration with Horsecross Arts and build upon the success of the ‘artivism’ masterclass with Mare Tralla. These annual exhibitions continue to inspire our students to explore issues of socially-engaged contemporary art practice which often include strong statements made through artist’s films, installations, painting, sculpture, photography and political campaign design. Do pop along to see them alongside this year’s Let’s End It exhibition”

Jill Moody of Perth Film Society said:

“I am very pleased that Perth Film Society is able to support the Let’s End It exhibition. The special preview screening of 120 Beats Per Minute is in addition to our regular screenings of arthouse films at Perth Theatre or Concert Hall. This feature film is based on the personal experiences of its director Robert Campillo and the co-screenwriter Philippe Mangeot. The film looks back to the early 1990s, when a group of HIV/AIDS activists associated with the Paris chapter of ACT UP struggle to effect action to fight the AIDS epidemic. We hope that 120 Beats Per Minute will inspire Perth college students, Perth Film Society regulars and anyone else who may join us for this Perth premiere of the film, which has been made possible through Let’s End It exhibition in association with the British Film Institute.”