Since Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first named in 1982 the representations of AIDS in art have been diverse. The first portrayals of AIDS that appeared in the mid-1980s were usually documentary in their approach and attempted to combat the horrific representations of people with AIDS (PWAs) produced by mainstream photojournalists and presented by the electronic media. More recently, artists have responded to AIDS with militance, remembrance, and wit. The artworks in From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS refer to the complicated range of emotions—horror, rage, hatred, fear, disbelief, anger, grief, defiance, and confusion—that surround the syndrome. The 60 paintings, mixed-media works, photographs, drawings, architectural models, sculpture, prints, projections, and videotape programs presented in this exhibition are sympathetic, confrontational, celebratory, and elegiac.
Accompanying this exhibition is the catalogue From Media to Metaphor: Art About Aids, edited by Robert Atkins and Tom Sokolowski, and published by Independent Curators International (ICI). Please visit our shop for more information.