It’s been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, 49 years since the first Pride March, 38 years since the first AIDS cases were reported, and 32 years since ACT UP began.
Thats a lot of history. We’ve had to fight for the progress we’ve made. One theme that runs through all of this is activism. We’ve made tremendous progress in LGBTQ Rights and the fight against AIDS.
I came of Activist Age in 1988 after my partner died of AIDS. I somehow ended up in an ACT UP meeting in NYC.I met some amazing people there, dedicated, smart, angry and effective.
Out of my experience in ACT UP came “the AIDS activist project”, remembering and honoring the people who fought and changed the course of the AIDS crisis. The desperation we felt in the ’80’s created the in-your-face activism and that brought us where we are today. This movement, thankfully, changed things for the generations that have come since, who didn’t have to live through the nightmare of the AIDS Crisis.
I am proud, proud of who we are, proud of my activism, proud of the process we’ve made. I am also proud to have the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many great activists.
History needs to remember this activism, and we need to remember the ones we lost to AIDS, especially during Pride. They fought AIDS, but didn’t make it here with us to celebrate.
This project and the book were a long time in the making, over 30 years. This book is a labor of love, sharing my experience, and letting folks get to know the people who were involved in AIDS Activism. The fact that people will get to know about the people, the activists who fought and made a difference in the book, Anne, Moises, Tom, Kate, Floyd, Mona, Tigger and everyone else is all I could have wanted to happen.
I published, and am distributing the book myself. It’s been a trying, overwhelming but worthwhile effort. I am very happy it’s done and out there. I could have hoped for no more.
I’ve been reaching out to Independent and LGBTQ bookstores across the country to distribute the book. If you work at or manage a bookstore, if you have a favorite bookstore in your neighborhood and think they would want to carry the book, please let me know and I can follow up. I wanted to keep this all “in the family”
I hope you’ll consider purchasing your own copy of the book & support the AIDS activist project. For more info, samples from the book and purchase the book, please click here to go to the AIDS activist project page here.
I’m very excited to let you know that the Guggenheim Museum is now carrying the AIDS activist project book. The book is available in conjunction with the Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibition which opened yesterday. It’s really amazing to see the AIDS activist project joining ranks with the objects and books being offered to support the Mapplethorpe Exhibition.
The Mapplethorpe Exhibition is entitled “Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now”, and will run in two parts. The first, January 25 – July 10, 2019, the second part opening on July 24th and running through January 5, 2020. More about the exhibition here.
I attended the Opening Exhibit of “positive/negative: HIV/AIDS” last night at New York University.Seeing work from “the AIDS activist project” included with other artists, such as David Wojnarowicz and Hunter Reynolds, whose work influenced me so much, and who I respect as artists was humbling.
Among the works were video clips showing the “Day of Desperation”, when ACT UP took over Grand Central Terminal in NYC. This was the ultimate flash mob. The entire terminal was turned into an ACT UP action. Seeing that power again; going back to the days when people were literally fighting for their lives is incredible.
The exhibit will be on display and open to the public from October 12, 2015 through January 15, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Work from “the AIDS activist project” will be included in the new exhibition at Fales Library. The opening will be this Friday, October 9th at NYU’s Fales Library, 70 Washington Square South, 3rd floor.
Following is the exhibition descrition:
Culled from the archives of the Fales Library, positive/negative: HIV/AIDS examines both the compassionate and the callous responses to the AIDS epidemic (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in America during the 1980s and 1990s, with specific relation to politics, education, faith, and the arts.
“Quite correctly, much historic record has emphasized the negative reactions that permeated the early years of AIDS,” said curator Brent Phillips, Fales media archivist. “However, through all the malice and death, scores of citizens banded together in a profound, positive manner.”
positive/negative: HIV/AIDS primarily features items from the Fales Downtown Collection, including archival documents, correspondence, photographs, posters, clothing, art works, literature, and rare audiovisual material that cover both the emergence of and reception to AIDS. Also on view: Patina Du Prey’s Memorial Dress by Hunter Reynolds, unrealized art conceptions by artist David Wojnarowicz, and selections from Bill Bytsura’s ACT-UP photograph collection.
“Fales did not intentionally set out to document this epidemic,” said Phillips. “But unquestionably the impact of AIDS proved devastating for the New York downtown arts scene in the 1980s and 1990s. The numerous archives that make up the Fales Downtown Collection reflect this violent disruption of imagination, the overwhelming loss, and also the nearly unprecedented humanitarian achievement AIDS motivated in New York – and throughout the country.“