Who Wants to Live Forever?

by Victoria Aschheim

"Turn your grief to anger!" So incanted one of the performers in the performance art work by Trevor Martin '10, entitled "Who Wants to Live Forever?" Trevor staged his searing work in the main gallery of the Carpenter Center, using the current exhibit, ACT UP New York: Activism, Art and the Aids Crisis, 1987-1993, as a platform -- both literally and figuratively -- for his inspired response to the AIDS activism movement, its visual and verbal symbolism, and its place in our nation's conscience. The performance art piece transformed the gallery at once into a theater in the round, with images of the ACT UP exhibit assuming on an altar-like aura and structure surrounding the performers. As the Trevor and two fellow student performers traversed the gallery as the vignette-like scenes of vigorous progest and silent reflection seamlessly changed from one to the next, the audience of students and faculty walked along, following the performers. Alongside walked a member of the audience whom Trevor charged with a large video camera, signifying the pivotal role of video in the AIDS activism movement, which, as Gregg Bordowitz wrote in "Picture a Coalition," seeks to create itself as it attempts to represent itself.

After the performance, I asked Visual and Environmental Studies concentrators Julia Rooney '11 and Sara Stern '11 for their immediate reactions. I also spoke with Emily Hecht '11, one of the performers, and Trevor Martin '10, who choreographed and directed "Who Wants to Live Forever?", in which he also performed.

Here are Trevor's sketches and script for "Who Wants to Live Forever?"