This one-day conference will explore the pasts, presents, and futures of AIDS art, AIDS activism, and AIDS prevention, and the connections between them. It will be of particular interest to art and cultural historians, health professionals, graduate students, activists, and health promotion and AIDS service organisation workers.
In a series of panels and a culminating roundtable, AIDS/Art/Work will look at the often productive, sometimes uneasy relationships between art inspired by AIDS and HIV/AIDS prevention, focusing on the following concerns:
What does AIDS art look like? Is there such a thing as an AIDS art aesthetic and if so how has it changed over time? What is the relationship between so-called avant-garde or conceptual art and representational art within the framework of ‘AIDS art’? Do we evaluate art whose purpose is to educate about, or prevent, HIV/AIDS differently from art that doesn’t have ‘utility’? Is ‘AIDS art’ beyond criticism?
How might we historicize and understand the AIDS activist movement in relation to artistic production? What part have AIDS-inspired artists played in stimulating political change? How did AIDS-related art change the course of the ‘Culture Wars’? Is there a continuing disjuncture between ‘militant’ art and work that expresses grief and loss? When AIDS art itself becomes institutionalized via the museum, the university, or the archive, what happens to its political power?
Can art save our lives? What can we learn from the histories of AIDS activism, AIDS art, and HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns? Have these collaborations worked? How do we define effectiveness in prevention? How have artists worked with activists and HIV/AIDS service agencies to create useful campaigns? What threats remain and what work needs to be done?
Sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY (CLAGS), Visual AIDS, and the Australian Research Council, the conference will take place at the Graduate Centre, 365 Fifth Ave, New York City, on 30 May 2008.
To register, go to the CLAGS website at www.clags.org and click on the AIDS/Art/Work link. Registration is $30 for the day ($20 for the unwaged) and includes breakfast, lunch, and a concluding reception. For more information, contact Naveed Alam at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 817-1955.
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY
Phone: (212) 817-1955
Dr Paul Sendziuk
School of History and Politics
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8303 7562
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