By Simon Watney
One of the leader topics of this ebook are the illustration of AIDS within the mass media and within the arts, and the encouragement of a much broader figuring out of the non-public impression of AIDS and its social adventure, quite between these social teams residing with the top degrees of disorder, loss of life and mourning. providing a chronicle of the altering and infrequently complicated process the epidemic and the moving responses to it, the writer hopes to solid mild at the stumbling blocks confronted via policy-makers contending with a hindrance unheard of, now not least in terms of the main heavily affected social constituencies.
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Extra info for Imagine Hope: Aids and Gay Identity (Social Aspects of Aids Series)
I also knew his partner Ross Laycock from pre-AIDS visits to Toronto. I particularly admired the way Felix’s work addressed questions of medical research, and tragic loss, in an entirely non-didactic and non-dogmatic fashion. 36 It was a very great shame and scandal that none of the leading London galleries chose to bring his magnificent 1995 Guggenheim Museum retrospective to London, after its display in New York and Paris. It should also be noted that over the years the leading London galleries have all consistently refused to show major travelling exhibitions which have been displayed in major museums around the world, including AIDS-related work by artists as distinguished as Keith Haring, Ross Bleckner and David Wojnarowicz.
35 By the 1990s I had other, more pragmatic goals in my life and work, but I continued to be involved in various ways with questions of the cultural responses to AIDS, ranging from my direct involvement in the production of Safer Sex materials, including videos, for the Terrence Higgins Trust, and in much of my writing and other work. Included here is ‘Art from the pit’, written for the catalogue of a major Australian exhibition in 1994 of international art responding to AIDS, and ‘In purgatory’, about the work of the young Cuban-American artist Felix GonzalezTorres, whom I knew very slightly, and greatly admired.
We have to. It’s the horror story that didn’t go away. We find new coping mechanisms, new accommodations, new goals, new identities. Certainly the dead are no longer Introduction: Epidemic! What epidemic? 21 ‘marching into our lives like an occupying army’,41 as they were throughout the early 1990s. At the same time AIDS-related prejudice has certainly become less aggressive and vociferous than it was. 42 Certainly both the far right and the far left have long enthusiastically battened onto AIDS, using it in their deluded and generally paranoid propaganda wars against ‘the scientific establishment’; ‘the ruling class’; ‘the myth of HIV’; ‘the homosexual conspiracy to bring down the family’; ‘the genocidal capitalist pharmaceutical industry’, and so on.