photo courtesy of the artist’s website

Stretch Marks (1990)

Tim Miller’s Stretch Marks (1990) is a call to action that confronts the politics of homosexuality during the AIDS epidemic. Miller employs a queer temporality by relaying his coming-out in high school to his present identity as a gay man, artist, and citizen. He addresses the sociopolitical climate of HIV/AIDS in the United States and the homophobic agendas of President Ronald Reagan’s administration. Miller assumes a voice of political agency through his involvement with ACT UP Los Angeles and critiques the medical-industrial complex for contributing to the AIDS death toll. He concludes by envisioning a queer futurity beyond the stigma of HIV/AIDS where gay men are free to be themselves. Miller’s Stretch Marks was intended to be part of Franklin Furnace’s History of the Future (1999) netcast on Pseudo Programs, Inc.’s the Performance Channel. However, the corporation went bankrupt during the height of the culture wars, leaving the performance footage dormant until it was preserved by the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library.

TIM MILLER is an internationally acclaimed performance artist. Miller’s work explores the artistic, spiritual, and political topography of his identity as a gay man. His performances have been presented across the world in venues such as the Yale Repertory Theatre, London Institute of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Miller is the author of Shirts & Skin (1997), Body Blows (2002), and 1001 Beds (2006). His solo performances have been published in Sharing the Delirium (1994) and O Solo Homo (1998). Miller has taught performance art at the University of California, Los Angeles, New York University, School of Theology at Claremont University, and other universities across the United States. He is a co-founder of PS122 in New York City and a co-founder of Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica.