Editor’s note: On Saturday March 1st, Visual AIDS organized a panel to discuss the YOUR NOSTALGIA IS KILLING ME poster which created so much online controversy. A vibrant crowd turned up at the NYPL to hear from both Ian Bradley-Perrin and Vincent Chevalier, AIDS activists and creators of the poster. Below is the speech Ian addressed the crowd with.
A lot has been tossed around about the poster’s meaning for and engagement with an older generation, and it’s certainly true that it speaks using a rich history of which the people sitting here with me are all part. However, that the poster uses much of the canon of AIDS agitprop and historical narrative, as well as the symbols of the commercialization and capital appropriation of AIDS represented by the United Colors of Benneton ad and Bono’s Inspi(red) campaign, is speaking less to the lived experience and many layered contextualization of these images in the experience of my co-panelists, but more to the place these images are taking up in a master narrative of HIV and AIDS. This is a distinction that I wanted to emphasize.
A common critique of the work of Vincent and me was that it is an academic piece with no place in the hard world of a lived experience with HIV or the direct action that ACT UP has long participated in. I am not going deny that the poster has many layers to it, and my studies in capital H history are part of that, but I wanted to talk for a moment about the poster as a personal appeal. Continue reading →
This weekend, the New School and Visual AIDS presented the 3-part series: Revisiting the AIDS Crisis and the Ongoing Pandemic: Health Challenges is the 21st century. For In the Flesh, one of the organizers shares his thoughts on the kickoff event, Surviving, Uniting, Anger and the Plague: a Conversation with David France and Jim Hubbard. To learn more about the series visit: http://visualaids.org/blog/detail/revisiting-the-aids-crisis-and-the-ongoing-pandemic#.
Revisiting the AIDS Crisis and the Ongoing Epidemic: Public Health Challenges in the 21st Century was a three part series organized by Visual AIDS and the New School. It included a public conversation between directors Jim Hubbard (United in Anger: A History of ACT UP) and David France (How to Survive a Plague) regarding their similar yet different films about AIDS activism in New York during the late 80s and into the 90s; and a panel discussion about TB, co-infection, and AIDS as a global issue.
On February 25th and 26th, the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio had its final performance before shutting its doors forever. The last piece, titled: Run Little Girl (after a line from a poem John Cage wrote at age 4), was choreographed by Lindsey Drury, a Seattle native and non-Cunningham dancer. In her own words, Drury states, “Run Little Girl is performed as a folk dance haunted with demons, struggling in schisms between collectivism and individuality, feminism and misogyny, memory and anti-sentimentality, formalism and folk art”. We talk with her about the experience of showing her work in that space, what it meant both to her and in a larger context. Continue reading →