A Conversion Party
Early drawings for Alien Sex Club, exploring the rituals, characters and symbolism to be used and displayed there. John Walter first presented his large, immersive installation ‘Alien Sex Club’ in 2015 at Ambika P3 Gallery in London. It was displayed later that year in Liverpool as part of Homotopia 2015 at Camp and Furnace. The Walker Art Gallery, with the assistance of the Art Fund, acquired a scaled down version of the original exhibition in 2016. ‘Alien Sex Club’ specifically explores the relationship between visual culture and HIV in the 21st century. Through his work, Walter questions the relationship between online dating apps, recreational drugs, ‘condom fatigue’ (a term used to describe or refer to the decreasing use of condoms) and the growing number of new HIV cases diagnosed each year. He aims ‘to provide audiences with a new vocabulary for understanding and talking about HIV and the factors contributing to its transmission.’ The Walker’s ‘Alien Sex Club’ installation is loosely themed around PrEP – Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis – one of the core concepts and components of the original installation. PrEP is a type of medication which, when taken correctly, can prevent the user from contracting HIV if they are exposed to the virus. The drug is not currently available in the UK through the NHS and is a topical subject of debate in the media.