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arts

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AIDS Activism in the Arts  
 
page: 1  2  3  

The overall importance of these public, politicized works of art was their ability to focus attention on the AIDS crisis and to serve as a rallying cry for those inside the movement. Many of these projects gained media coverage across the country through wire services and public radio stations, and even spawned a debate over the representation of gays and lesbians on the floor of the Illinois State Senate.

As a result, AIDS awareness has now spread into the mainstream, creating its own sphere of community-based organizations, charitable institutions, and even magazines for those who are HIV-positive.

Sponsor Message.

Conclusion

In the new millennium, gay activism has increasingly become less galvanized by the specter of AIDS and has seemingly splintered into dozens of micro-movements--focusing on issues ranging from gays in the military to parenting, same-sex marriage, workplace fairness, and so on. However, activists and artists working to effect change, regardless of the issue, have learned many valuable lessons from their predecessors in the power and efficacy of vocal, public activism through art.

Craig Kaczorowski

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social sciences >> Overview:  AIDS Activism

In the United States, glbtq people have played an integral and often leading role in AIDS activism, greatly influencing AIDS treatment and advocacy.

arts >> Overview:  American Art: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, American gay male art underwent a radical transformation as artists came out and began to treat gay themes openly and directly.

social sciences >> Overview:  Circuit Parties

Circuit Parties refer to an ongoing series of gay-themed events that take place in major metropolitan areas throughout the year.

arts >> Overview:  Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art, which designates new currents in art since 1970, is identified with postmodernism; during this period an art addressing gay and lesbian identity emerged.

arts >> Overview:  Performance Art

Performance art has been embraced by queer artists as a means of challenging the very idea of traditional in art and culture.

social sciences >> ACT UP

Using bold images and confrontational tactics, ACT UP worked to promote awareness of AIDS and challenge the complacency of politicians and government officials in the early years of the epidemic.

arts >> Caja, Jerome

San Francisco visual artist Jerome Caja is known for his small, sensuous combinations of found objects, which he painted with nail polish, makeup, and glitter, as well as for his drag performances.

arts >> Epperson, John

Talented actor and writer John Epperson has had an extremely successful career performing as the glamorous and hilarious drag diva Lypsinka, among other characters.

arts >> Epstein, Rob

Writer, director, and producer Rob Epstein is one of the most accomplished documentary filmmakers of his generation, having worked on a number of landmark gay-themed films.

arts >> Gober, Robert

Sculptor Robert Gober is among only a few openly gay American artists to achieve an international reputation as one of the great artists of our time.

arts >> Higgins, Colin 

Australian-American writer, director, and producer Colin Higgins is best known for his screenplay of the cult classic "Harold and Maude" and for directing the more mainstream comedies "Foul Play" and "9 to 5."

arts >> Hoffman, William M.

Playwright, librettist, and educator William M. Hoffman is best known for his ground-breaking play As Is, one of the first theatrical works to focus on the AIDS epidemic.

arts >> Hujar, Peter

Photographer Peter Hujar created stark, stunning, affecting , and sometimes disturbing images in black and white.

social sciences >> Jones, Cleve

Activist Cleve Jones is best known as the originator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, but his life as a gay man has always been firmly interwoven with his life as a political organizer.

arts >> Kleiser, Randal

Although best known for his direction of lighter fare such as Grease, Randal Kleiser made his most significant contribution to gay cinema with the 1996 AIDS-themed "It's My Party."

arts >> Saint, Assotto

Through his contributions to literary and popular culture, Haitian-born American poet, performance artist, musician, and editor and publisher Assotto Saint increased the visibility of black queer authors and themes during the 1980s and early 1990s.


    Bibliography
   

ACT UP--AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. www.actupny.org.

Atkins, Robert. "AIDS: Making Art and Raising Hell." Queer Arts Resource. www.queer-arts.org/archive/show4/forum/atkins/atkins.html.

Knight, Christopher. "ART REVIEW: Gran Fury's Graphic AIDS Message." Los Angeles Times (March 6, 1991): Home Edition, Calendar Page.

Meyer, Richard. "This is to Enrage You: Gran Fury and the Graphics of AIDS Activism." But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism. Nina Felshin, ed. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995.

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. www.aidsquilt.org.

Roman, David. Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture, and AIDS. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Kaczorowski, Craig  
    Entry Title: AIDS Activism in the Arts  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated December 31, 2010  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/aids_activism_art.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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