Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, DiAna's Hair Ego REMIX, 2017
Commissioned by Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art 2017, ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS, curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett
30 years after Ellen Spiro made “DiAna’s Hair Ego: AIDS Info Up Front,” the AIDS crisis is still raging in the deep South where the film was shot. Director Cheryl Dunye, after reading about the ongoing AIDS crisis in the South, visits DiAna DiAna and Dr. Bambi Gaddist in the hair salon in Columbia, South Carolina where they first began their innovative safe sex education work. DiAna’s Hair Ego REMIX is the beginning of a new story and new hope in the face of an ongoing tragedy.
Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990's "queer new wave" of young film and video makers. Dunye has made over 15 films including HBO’s Stranger Inside and her debut film, The Watermelon Woman, recently restored by Outfest’s UCLA Legacy Project for the films’ 20th anniversary. In 2016, Dunye received a Guggenheim Fellowship and became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Presently, Dunye is an assistant professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University, is at work on her next feature film Black Is Blue, and recently joined the directing team of the TV series Queen Sugar, created by Ava DuVernay for OWN. Dunye lives and works in Oakland, CA.
Ellen Spiro is an Emmy-award winning indie filmmaker whose work champions mavericks and renegades with wit, inventiveness, and emotional depth. Her critically acclaimed documentaries include Diana's Hair Ego, Greetings From Out Here, Roam Sweet Home, Atomic Ed & the Black Hole, Are the Kids Alright?, Troop 15OO, Fixing the Future and Body of War, shortlisted for an Academy Award. Spiro received fellowships from Guggenheim, Fulbright, Rockefeller and National Endowment for the Arts. Spiro’s films are housed in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Peabody Collection of The Paley Center for Media and the New York Public Library. Spiro is currently a Fulbright Fellow and Professor of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas in Austin.
December 1, 2017 marked the 28th anniversary of Day With(out) Art, a day of mourning and action in response to the AIDS crisis. A presentation of short film and video works held concurrently at over one hundred art institutions and universities, Day With(out) Art is organized annually by Visual AIDS, the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today. This year's program, ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS, prioritizes Black narratives within the ongoing AIDS epidemic and features seven new and innovative short videos from artists Mykki Blanco, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Reina Gossett, Thomas Allen Harris, Kia LaBeija, Tiona Nekkia McClodden and Brontez Purnell, curated by Erin Christovale and Vivian Crockett for Visual AIDS. In 2017 ALTERNATE ENDINGS, RADICAL BEGINNINGS screened at 116 venues worldwide, premiering at the Whitney Museum of American Art on December 1, with additional marquee screenings at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in collaboration with The Studio Museum in Harlem, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.