This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
The history of the AIDS crisis is deeply entangled with questions of representation. Faced with an openly hostile and retrograde government, a backwards and puritanical sexual zeitgeist, and a centuries-old system of repression, the struggle of the affected communities to simultaneously raise consciousness and redefine it has provided a model for the potentialities of real-time cultural intervention. One of the lesser-cited positive effects of this still ongoing battle has been the forced maturation of sexual discourse in areas less directly affected; improvements in sex education, for example, owe a huge debt to the work of the artist/activist community that coalesced around the threat of HIV. That some of these hard fought achievements continue to be targeted should be taken both as a continued call to action, and as evidence of how remarkable the progress of the last three decades has been. Tomorrow curator Dean Daderko will discuss SIDE X SIDE, currently running at La MaMa La Galleria, which he curated for Visual AIDS. SIDE X SIDE aims to show the work of artists' responding to the epidemic over time, “with an acute awareness of the crisis and its impact on them…” Artists include Scott Burton, Kate Huh, Nicholas Moufarrege, Martin Wong and Carrie Yamaoka.