[Image via Poz Blogs]
Barton Lidice Benes
Whereas the concern over blood in Athey’s performance was largely the result of a sensationalist news article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, in the case of Barton Lidice Benes, it was quite well-founded. When friends started dying of AIDS, Benes, who died in June 2012, had himself tested and found that he was HIV-positive. This inspired him to begin using pills and capsules, intravenous tubes, and other medical equipment in his sculpture. For the exhibition Lethal Weapons in 1993, Benes made no fewer than 30 artworks with his own blood, including a Molotov cocktail, a water pistol, and a perfume atomizer.