Of particular note is that this painting was deliberately left unfinished by the artist. A political commentary on the indifference with which the federal government was handling the AIDS epidemic at the time, the painting is left as unfinished as the countless lives that were taken by the disease. Haring died months later at the age of 31.
He continues to be an iconic figure in the LGBTQ+ gay rights community and is remembered by many as a symbol of late 80s / early 90s Nickelodeon aesthetic.
Social poster assignment 💊✨ ~ PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medication to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. A single pill taken once daily is highly effective against HIV when taken every day. Today more than ever we need to show support for our poz brothers, sisters and non-binary peeps. I love you all my dudes 🌸
High resolution posters of two Indigenous Queers taken during the Long Walk/forced removal/ relocation of the Diné to an internment camp located near Bosque Redondo, New Mexico in 1866. As with all our posters, feel liberated to print out and wheatpaste at will!
The photograph shows two Diné Nádleehí (translation: “the one is changing”), which is the equivalent to Indigenous Queer identity in contemporary culture. It is accompanied by text that challenges Western perspectives on homosexuality by asking the viewer to imagine the pre-“history” of terms and issues that have become relevant to contemporary Queer culture. In this case, it inserts an Indigenous narrative prior to genocide, colonization, health epidemics, and forced assimilation to Western notions that include but are not limited to gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, same-sex marriage, queer history, and romanticization of nature and masculinity/male identity.
Hi. How are you? To the picture of the flag on louis sweater i read about following: Perhaps more poignant is the fact that Mapplethorpe captured this flag flying audaciously above Fire Island’s infamously gay district of The Pines; four years before anyone had even heard of AIDS. Have a nice day or evening. Bye !
Anonymous said:I teach art history and I really appreciate Louis wearing that sweatshirt. Setting aside the more provocative artwork from Robert Mapplethorpe, anyone that is interested in him should do some research. The sweatshirt was designed in connection with his foundation that does wonderful work for the arts and HIV/AIDS research.
Anonymous said:Not the same anon, but your tag post just made me think, Mapplethorpe photographed the American flag multiple times. Most well known are the one from 1977 and one from 1987 (the one on L’s hoodie). The 1977 image is of a tattered flag was taken in the summer of 1977 in the Pines, a gay-friendly resort on New Yorks’ Fire Island, where Mapplethorpe’s lover, Sam Wagstaff, had rented a house. The 1987 image was shot after he was diagnosed with AIDS and knew he didn’t have much longer to live (½)
Anonymous said:in contrast this flag is not tattered unlike the previous one. Both flags show resilience and endurance. (2/2)
Some info from anons re: the image on Louis’ shirt and the photographer.
I’m excited to share the first episode of Tested, a comic I’ve been working on in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health, AIDS Institute and writer Josh Billig. The comic is being made as part of the AIDS Institute’s app called @ygetit, which is designed primarily for young people living with HIV and helping them live healthier lives.
In 1992, when I wrote “we are all HIV positive” on my hand with a tattoo artist from Brooklyn, I said several things: One was that you may not separate the uninfected from the infected as so many so-called liberal doctors wanted to do, by putting the infected on Plum island outside of New York City. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by denying them access to your country. You cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by putting the infected on a separate floor that has red danger contagion signs and giving them crap to eat and instructing Catholic nurses not to administer painkillers to the guilty and allowing Catholic priests to visit them and inform them of their future in Hell if they do not confess that their entire life has been a crime. You cannot separate the infected from the uninfected by saying I do not have AIDS, I have syphillis, but most assuredly nothing to do with HIV, and then allow them to die an early death because they would rather die of the disease than the stigma, as so many did, and do, including my best friend– in 1996–who would be living today if he had not been petrified of the stigma and intentionally saw a doctor whose research was based on the option and the opinion that HIV did not cause AIDS. A second opinion, or better yet,my friend’s own research with other researchers would have been smarter. He knew better, but he told me when we first met in 1989 that he would kill himself if he were diagnosed with HIV. No matter what I said to him he continued to visit the one practitioner who would condone this denial for six years until it was too late, and the following year protease inhibitors hit the market—the year after he died. No, you cannot separate the uninfected from the infected by saying “I do not suffer from this virus: I have been spared.” Because one day, in one city, in one moment, you will learn that you suffer from some virus, some pathogen, something poisonous that will not exit from your body; and you will realize that you do not mourn the dead, you mourn the suffering of the living while they are still alive. No one can escape death, and worse than that, no one can escape the life of anything and everything that smells your blood and lives because of it.
“Between February 20 and March 18, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s “Untitled” (1991) peppered the New York skyline, on six billboards throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. With locations ranging from 10th Avenue near the Javits Center to the far corners of Brighton Beach, the work reached diverse populations and altered the associated media landscapes. The provocative yet ambiguous image on each—an enlarged black-and-white photograph of the artist’s recently shared double bed—stood out amid the text-heavy advertising signage that dominates the city. Devoid of the text, logos, or captions typically associated with billboards, this work summoned a second look or even a momentary pause, the introspective quality of the image bringing a perceptible stillness to the surrounding bustle of the city.
…Throughout his work, Gonzalez-Torres (American, born Cuba. 1957–1996) questioned the notion of the unique art object, making series of works based on identical pairs (two clocks ticking side-by-side, two mirrors embedded in a wall) or finding inspiration in the possibilities of endless reproducibility (stacks of sheets as give-aways for visitors, piles of candy to be continually replenished). He wanted his work to be disseminated, to exist in multiple places at the same time, and to be realized completely only through the participation of the viewer, which he described as “one enormous collaboration with the public,” in which the “pieces just disperse themselves like a virus that goes to many different places—homes, studios, shops, bathrooms, whatever.” Reproducibility, collaboration, and circulation—sound familiar? His particular approach, which has been enormously influential for contemporary artistic practice, also made Gonzalez-Torres an essential presence…
For Gonzalez-Torres, art was an effective means of addressing social concerns—even more so when it could be multiplied. Inhabiting the familiar forms of Minimalism and post-Minimalism with his stacks and floor pieces, the artist embedded subtle but insistent references to current issues, from political violence to gay rights. In billboard projects like “Untitled”, the artist played with the powerful juxtapositions that could be generated between private and public spaces. By choosing this photograph of his bed, the artist exposed this most intimate of spaces, emphasized by the rumpled sheets and the recent impressions of two heads in the pillows. In the early 1990s, with controversies surrounding homosexuality and the AIDS crisis simultaneously wreaking havoc across the gay community, the bed also represented a site of conflict, symbolizing both love and death. That Gonzalez-Torres’s partner, Ross, died of AIDS in 1991 brings an intensely personal note to this work, but does not diminish it of its universal associations with comfort, intimacy, loneliness, or loss.
Every time I passed by my “local” billboard, on Queens Boulevard and Van Dam Street, I stopped to take it in again. It is a commanding work, even capable of overshadowing the roar of the elevated 7 train and the honking cars exiting the Long Island Expressway (not an easy task!). The presentation in Print/Out marks the 20th anniversary of the first realization of “Untitled”, for MoMA’s Projects 34: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, organized by Anne Umland in 1992. Imagining the future reception of this work, Umland presciently wrote in that exhibition’s accompanying brochure, “A photograph promises the possibility of replication, of reemergence in a different time and under different historical circumstances, a moment when this poignant image of ‘a dwelling in the evening air’ may come to mean very different things.” I look forward to seeing the next iteration!”
As some of you know, I taught an lgbtq class last year and decided to share one of the lesson plans I created. It’s about AIDS, specifically Act-Up and direct action. It then ties in current queer artists and has students study and question contemporary art.
I noticed that the students had little to no knowledge of AIDS history. I wonder if it’s taught at all in schools. This isn’t totally comprehensive, but aimed to be interesting and engaging. I’m hoping that other teachers can use this lesson plan as a jumping off point or adjust it to fit their classrooms needs. This lesson is meant to work with a projector and is aimed to be about an hour long, students 15+.
I’m sure there are some important facts that are left out/glazed over/possibly wrong. It’s an editable PDF/Google Doc so people can fix mistakes where they see them. Here is the Lesson Plan. Here is the PDF.
“I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils”. These are words published nearly 25 years ago by American artist and prominent AIDS activist Zoe Leonard in her poem I Want A Dyke For President. In 2016, the poem – that aggressively questions the violent banality of our elected politicians – remains as relevant and striking as ever.