Melanie Flood Projects is proud to present I Won’t Last A Day Without You, a solo exhibition of photographs by New York based artist Pacifico Silano curated by Yaelle S. Amir. The exhibition will open on Friday October 3, 2020 and will run through November 14, 2020.
In I Won’t Last A Day Without You, Pacifico Silano presents new work from his ongoing series of photo collages that draw from gay erotica magazines published after the Stonewall riots (1969) and through the height of the AIDS epidemic (late 1980s). Layering snippets of desert views with forest flora, tulle with roses, a face, an arm, a shadow—these fragments serve to soften the outlandish performative aspects of male desire commonly found in their source material, and offer instead a tender, quiet and fragile expression of masculinity. The resulting works communicate poetic moments that are embedded with a deep sense of melancholy reflective of the era from which the images were derived. Rather than fantasy and satisfaction, the onlooker now contends with feelings of emptiness and sorrow.
The purpose and materiality of Silano’s work stems from a highly personal position. Born during the peak of the AIDS crisis to a family who ran an adult novelty store, Silano lost his uncle due to complications from HIV. Yet the shame associated with his uncle’s sexuality and the stigma surrounding the disease led to his family’s erasure of his memory. With that experience serving as a catalyst, Silano has created these works as stand-in memorials for the individuals depicted upon the pages of the sourced magazines, as well as for those who consumed their image. As contemporary interpretations of archival materials, the works candidly hold within them the past and future—demonstrating acutely how a photograph can evolve its meaning and context as culture gains new understanding of history.
–Yaelle Amir, Exhibition curator