Nearly 300 empty HIV medication bottles collected during the past 15 years—including those of HIV-positive artists Daniel Goldstein and John Kapellas and their partners, some dead, some living—were used to construct Medicine Man. The suspended sculpture is over life size. Strands of steel wire are threaded with translucent orange bottles of various sizes to create the elements of the floating figure.
Viewers are reminded of the countless pills HIV positive people must take and of the life-sustaining power these medicines provide. Encircling the human-shaped cluster of bottles are 139 syringes, each tipped with a red droplet. This elicits both a feeling of being bombarded and of energy radiating out from the body.
“The piece speaks to the joy of living after having experienced so much death.” says Goldstein. “One of the show’s curators from India told me this piece gave her great hope.” “The shapes in this piece echo many spiritual traditions.” adds Kapellas. “From the resurrection in Christianity and the enlightened Buddha on the lotus, to the halos that surround the saints of all cultures.”
Medicine Man is currently showing at the Castle of Good Hope and Daniel Goldstein is building a new Medicine Man on site using ARV bottles donated by South Africans in a work which deals particularly with the issue of the side-effects of the ARV’s currently being rolled out in South Africa. All interested parties need to either meet at the castle at 4pm or else get into contact with me on firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda on Linda.email@example.com so we can help organise. I can also be raised on 0733965037. We’re really looking forward to this and hope that as many of you as possible can make it, its gonna be incredible. we hope to see you there.