Gone & For Ever

Alex Stadler

Apr 28th - Jul 3rd, 2023

Gone & For Ever is a multidisciplinary memorial to Philadelphians and the HIV/AIDS crisis, conceived by Alex Stadler and created in partnership with artists, activists, community leaders, and individuals who have shared their stories. Performed in June 2022 at the William Way LGBTQ+ Community Center, The Clay Studio presents the monumental urns by Stadler in along with a movie made about the procession. 

Original support for Gone & For Ever was provided to William Way LGBT Community Center by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.

Alex Stadler:

Gone & For Ever was conveived as a small repair-acknowledging and laying to rest the memories of people who in the death and in their dying had been abandoned by our society as a whole.

Equally important to me was the way the piece functioned as a proof of the “utility” of art. It was an argument in defense of a belief I have long held that art is integral to human life not as a means of survival (like, say…food or water or shelter) but for providing reasons to survive-and for expressing and codifying emotions and experiences -like loss and grief-which are too mysterious for the human mind to comprehend.

Starting with the simple fact that funerals-no matter who is creating them-inevitably involve a series of curatorial aesthetic decisions and rely for their material on art (A song must be chosen, a marker must be selected or designed, a written passage must be delivered) I chose to create an artist-made memorial which would expand out from  the human need for art when confronting the inexpressible or the seemingly impossible.