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COMPULSIVE PRACTICE: Ray Navarro

​“Instead of just being grabbed by a TV camera and shown on the news, another way to do it is to pick up a camera rig yourself and to shoot yourself, your friends, and other people you’re involved in organizing efforts with, and getting that stuff on the air.”
– Ray Navarro, quoted in an excerpt from his memorial video, 1990

Ray Navarro (1964–1990) was an artist, filmmaker and activist. He attended Cal Arts in California and moved to New York in 1988 to go to the Whitney Independent Study Program, and soon joined ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power). He was also a member of DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activists), a video-documenting affinity group of ACT UP. DIVA TV documented public testimony, the media, and community activism to motivate the fight against AIDS. Navarro died of AIDS related complications at the age of 36. See more of his work on the Visual AIDS Artist+ Registry.

Ray Navarro’s Memorial Video, 1990
Ray Navarro and Catherine Gund, Bleach Teach and Outreach (for GMHC’s Living With AIDS Show), 1989
Ray Navarro, Jesus at St. Patrick’s Day Parade Action, DIVA TV, 1989
Ray Navarro, Condom PSA, 1989


COMPULSIVE PRACTICE is a video compilation of compulsive, daily, and habitual practices by nine artists and activists who live with their cameras as one way to manage, reflect upon, and change how they are deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.

Featuring Juanita Mohammed, Ray Navarro (1964–1990), Nelson Sullivan (1948–1989), the Southern AIDS Living Quilt, James Wentzy, Carol Leigh aka Scarlot Harlot, Luna Luis Ortiz, Mark S. King, and Justin B. Terry-Smith.

Curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan for Visual AIDS.​