YOUR NOSTALGIA IS KILLING ME Vincent Chevalier and Ian Bradley-Perrin



Created for the 2013 edition of AIDS Action Now’s poster/VIRUS

“Strictly speaking, nostalgia does not entail the exercise of memory at all, since the past it idealizes stands outside time, frozen in unchanging perfection. Memory too may idealize the past, but not in order to condemn the present. It draws hope and comfort from the past in order to enrich the present and to face what comes…”[1]

In the slight of hand that weaves the short and long memories of our community with the artifacts that remain and the work we do to alter our near future into our present sense of the blurred lines of our “community,” let us not drop the adaptability that we have always used to keep up with the virus that adapts so well to us. It is not the remembering and it is neither the history, nor the material culture nor the valorization of the battles won and lost that impedes our movement forward, but rather the unpinning of our past from the circumstances from which the fights were born. It is this that makes light of the impetus to resist; the gentrification of our memories and our worshipping of idols whose miracles are forgotten.

Silence=Death but the white noise humming from your latest post is keeping me up at night. Flying in two dimensions, scrolling through virtual space, virtual time, random access memories referencing deep memory held in those you find inaccessible; beneath the porch light we’ve all been circling. Do not let the dregs of our history be your horse blinders as you move through today’s world because things are different now as they were different then. Allow the history to be real and tethered to a time and place and reason such that the output is responding to today and is ready for tomorrow. Let the past sleep some such that it can be more present the choices you make on reality, not the reality itself. “Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there is a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.”[2]