HIV

My writing, my articles and my artwork can be found on my artists website:

www.philipp-spiegel.com

On the 2nd of January, 2014 I was diagnosed with HIV.

After the first challenging years of depression, anxiety and the general sense of feeling utterly lost, I reconnected with new art forms.

Neglecting the classic realms of photography, I found a new focus in writing, in artistic-photography and installations. To separate my life with HIV from my life as a “normal photographer”, and due to the intimate nature of my HIV art works, I created the pseudonym “Philipp Spiegel”.

Over the past four years I’ve had exhibitions under my artists name in various countries; Austria, Germany, UK and Spain.  I regularly contribute articles and artwork to major publications like The Guardian or Die Zeit Online and continue to spread information, confidence and motivation on the topics of HIV and sexuality.

I work as a public speaker, writer and HIV activist.

The images seen here are only a brief introduction.

Instagram: #ongoingviral
Twitter: @SpiegelPhilipp

Artist Statement

HIV fascinates me.

With meticulous curiosity I reflect on the transformations caused and inspired by the HIV infection in my body in 2013. An undefined, biological bond between my body and an alien entity forces me to reflect on different perceptions of the concept of the self, emotional states and questions the fluid subjectivity of being. Intimacy: now, a concept interrupted by a foreign toxicity aligning with the closest entity of myself – my material body. 

I confront stigmatizations, perceptions and dualities that persist around HIV and sexuality, related to shame, guilt and judgements. I challenge the views about HIV, its carriers and the socio-political re-construction of their bodies and behavior. As an HIV-positive person in society still gets considered a danger, an illness, a guilt, the deconstructive other. 

“What is the price of pleasure?” Edging with concepts of morality, mortality and sexual cleanliness, my work explores sexuality deemed as immoral, dangerous and perverse.

Through photography, video and installation, I aim to provoke a reflection of the ongoing vilified perceptions still embedded within the AIDS epidemic of the 1980ies and 90ies.