2021-2022 YoungArts Fellow Awardee Roderick George | kNoname Artist presents the world premiere of “Venom,” a work inspired by his research of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the 1980s and his relationship with today’s political climate. “Venom” exposes how the queer community faced silencing, isolation, being forced into hiding, and death through fear, media, family dynamics, and ‘God’s reckoning.’
As a queer Black man from Houston, Texas, George recognizes that his existence lies on these individuals’ backs. He pays homage to his community’s ability to uplift each other through trauma, using the underground nightlife as a sanctuary from the ugly world. The work is named ‘Venom’ because of the negative impact of society on the LGBTQIA + community and the psychological effects. While demonstrating an organized isolation of individuals, many continued to die from the deadly plague. In the 1980s, the government’s use of religion vindicated their beliefs that HIV/AIDS was God’s reckoning on the queer community. Even as a reflection of today’s climate, the silencing deprived individuals of resources, which guided the community to uplift each other through trauma in the underground nightlife as a sanctuary from the ugly world. ‘Venom’ features music by Slowdanger and performance by Roderick George, Mark Caserta, Alex Haskins, Nouhoum Koita, and Elijah Labay.
kNoname Artist, Roderick George, Live Artery