WePresent announces ‘We Move in Circles’ exhibition with guest curator Russell Tovey remembering artists lost to AIDS

The new exhibition includes: - ‘Life is Excellent’, a new documentary presented by Russell Tovey and WePresent, honoring the legacy of artist David Robilliard - A rare showcase of HIV/AIDS activism through vintage T-Shirts from the era

LONDON - 22 NOVEMBER, 2023 - WePresent, the arts platform of WeTransfer, and Russell Tovey, the British actor, art collector, and co-host of the podcast TalkArt, release the documentary ‘Life is Excellent’ available to stream globally today on WePresent. In line with the documentary release, WePresent and Russell Tovey will stage a special free exhibition called ‘We Move In Circles’ open to the public in Shoreditch, London from 23 to 25 November.

Together, the documentary and exhibition program highlight Tovey’s broader mission to raise awareness about the impact of the AIDS crisis, educating viewers about the contributions of queer British and American artists whose lives were tragically cut short by AIDS.

‘Life Is Excellent’, WePresent's first-ever original feature-length documentary, follows Tovey as he embarks on a quest to bring to prominence the life of his artistic hero, David Robilliard, whose life was tragically lost during the AIDS pandemic in 1988 at age just 36. 

Through Robilliard's close friends, collaborators, and colleagues, Tovey pieces together the life of a man celebrated for his distinctive visual art and poetry, with an unwavering mission to ensure his legacy is never forgotten.

The exhibition space will screen the documentary alongside a showcase of rare HIV/AIDS activism T-shirts curated with PAST Magazine, entitled ‘Say It With Your Chest: T-Shirts of Queer Protest and Rebellion.’

From iconic Keith Haring designs and ACT UP’s ‘SILENCE = DEATH, to Dallas’ G.U.T.S. and Manchester’s Never Going Underground, the T-shirts explore the T-shirt as a universal canvas for protest, and remind visitors that narratives from the AIDS crisis are as present as ever as AIDS continues to affect so many around the world. The space will also house a library of queer literature, curated by Gay’s The Word and The Common Press Bookshop.

The project is the focal point of Tovey’s appointment as WePresent’s Guest Curator, announced earlier this year. ‘Life Is Excellent’ is also WePresent’s latest original commissioned film project, following its role as Executive Producer of acclaimed short film ‘The Long Goodbye’ by actor and musician Riz Ahmed and director Aneil Karia, which won an Oscar in 2022 for Best Live Action Short Film.

Russell Tovey says, "This collaboration with WePresent underscores our shared commitment to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities. Through our year-long exploration, we’ve commemorated artists like Derek Jarman and David Robilliard, with the goal to ensure their significant contributions to culture can resonate with a new generation. I am thrilled that, together, we’re able to honor incredible queer art history and help bring it to new audiences around the world.”

WePresent’s Editor-in-chief, Holly Fraser says, “WeTransfer's collaboration with Russell Tovey is testament to how the platform empowers today's pioneering creators by supporting their passion projects. Through this year-long guest curatorship we wanted to focus on some of the great talents and minds that we lost to the AIDS crisis, many of whom are Russell’s heroes. Both Derek Jarman and David Robilliard were artists ahead of their time and through this collaboration we hope that we can highlight their huge contribution to the art world to a new generation.”

WeTransfer is dedicated to nurturing the arts and fostering a sense of community among creators, using their platform as a dynamic creative hub. The platform has allocated 30% of its advertising inventory to support creatives and donates 1% of its revenue to emerging artists through The Supporting Act Foundation.

WePresent and Russell Tovey: We Move In Circles

Open Thursday 23rd November to Saturday 25th November

Opening Hours: 10am-7pm

133 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG

Watch ‘Life Is Excellent’ on WePresent

Trailer HERE

Talks & programming with Russell Tovey and Rob Diament HERE




About WePresent

WePresent is WeTransfer’s arts platform, acting as the company’s cultural torchbearer to a monthly audience of approximately 3 million in 190 countries. Collaborating with emerging young talent to renowned artists such as Marina Abramović, Riz Ahmed, FKA twigs or David Sedaris, WePresent showcases the best in art, photography, film, music, literature and more, championing diversity in everything it does. The platform’s commissions range from editorial features to films, illustrations, photography series, events, and exhibitions, with an aim to offer a fresh take on the magic and mystery of creative ideas. WePresent were the commissioners and Executive Producers of the acclaimed short film 'The Long Goodbye' by actor and musician Riz Ahmed and director Aneil Karia, which won an Oscar in 2022 for Best Live Action Short Film.

About WeTransfer

WeTransfer streamlines the workflow process for millions of creative professionals. Its ecosystem of creative productivity tools makes it easy to collaborate, share and deliver work. WeTransfer has more than 80 million monthly active users in 190 countries. As a certified B Corporation™, WeTransfer has long been a champion of using business as a force for good. Since its founding in 2009, WeTransfer has donated up to 30% of its advertising space to support artists and social causes. Last year, WeTransfer also launched its Supporting Act Foundation to support emerging creative talent through arts education, grants, and an annual prize.

About Russell Tovey

Russell Tovey is an award-winning British actor with an extensive background in film, television and theater. He is also a passionate art collector and co-hosts art podcast, “Talk Art”, with friend and gallerist Robert Diament, in which they interview leading artists, curators, gallerists, and celebrities. Their first book “Talk Art: Everything You Wanted To Ask About Contemporary Art But Were Afraid To Ask” has been listed as one of The Sunday Times’s Top Ten Bestsellers, and their second book “Talk Art The Interviews” was released this spring. In 2023, Russell was announced as the WePresent Guest Curator, working with them on two film projects about Derek Jarman and David Robilliard, respectively.

Image credits:

All Tshirt imagery to be credited to PAST

Russell documentary stills credit: The Bishopsgate Library