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Don't Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS exhibition invitation with entreé card

Archives of American Art
Exhibition Announcement : 2 sheet ; 10 x 21 cm. (entreé card), 30 x 21 cm. (folded invitation) Embossed and printed invitation to the November 4, 1994 opening of Don't Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Included with the invitation is an entreé card. The invitation and card both include a safety pin and red ribbon.

Aids Prevention

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Beaded Brooch with AIDS Red Ribbon

National Museum of American History
A handmade AIDS red ribbon pin from South Africa.

Since the first reports thirty years ago, the illness has become chronic and manageable as effective multi-drug treatments have reduced mortality. The AIDS crisis spurred new knowledge of retroviruses and the human immune system, the development of new laboratory techniques, and faster drug approval.

In addition, HIV and AIDS shifted sexual practices and the role of sex in identity. LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) became more accepted in society. Awareness of sexually transmitted infections made “safe sex” a familiar term and an expected behavior. AIDS drew attention to the interplay of poverty, race, and addiction with disease. The art and media created around the loss and tragedy profoundly influenced cultural practices and aesthetics.

Oral history interview with Robert Vázquez-Pacheco, 2017 December 16-17

Archives of American Art
Audio: 8 sound files (6 hr., 59 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 131 pages

An interview with Robert Vázquez-Pacheco conducted 2017 December 16 and 17, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at The New School, in New York, New York.

Vazquez-Pacheco speaks of his childhood in South Bronx housing projects; members and dynamics of his family growing up; experiences and discourses of religion, race, gender, sexuality, reading, and the arts as a child and adolescent; attending SUNY Oswego for one year; an existentially pivotal year in Miami in 1975; returning to New York in 1976, immersing himself in Latino gay culture, and being exposed to white gay culture; living in Hempstead, New York for two years with a boyfriend, and beginning to paint again; working at Chase Manhattan Bank and volunteering for the Gay Switchboard in New York City in the late '70s; the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; caring for his boyfriend, Jeff, who died of AIDS in 1986; the particular experience and effect of HIV on communities of color and low-income communities; mounting societal homophobia during the epidemic; leading Gay Circles, a gay men's consciousness-raising group, in the late '80s; his involvement in ACT UP, and burgeoning political consciousness, after Jeff's death; activism as a creative outlet; working at different times with the People With AIDS health group, the Anti-Violence Project, the Minority AIDS Taskforce, Latino Gay Men of New York, Minority AIDS Coalition in Philadelphia, and LLEGO in Washington; AIDS activism's failure to think intersectionally and build coalitions; his involvement in Gran Fury; becoming a more prolific writer, and getting involved with Other Countries, in the early '90s; Gran Fury's 2011 retrospective; the need for racial diversity and representation in activism and the art world; white flight from AIDS activism following the arrival of protease inhibitors; personal frustrations with the current AIDS activism discourse and nonprofit organizational complex, and the general cultural conversation about HIV/AIDS; contrasting representations of AIDS activism in How to Survive a Plague and BPM; and the essential role of art in AIDS activism. Vazquez-Pacheco also recalls Mark Simpson, Craig Metroka, David Kirschenbaum, Maxine Wolfe, Avram Finkelstein, Deb Levine, Charles King, Robert Garcia, Ortez Alderson, Derek Hodel, Gregg Bordowitz, Michael Callen, Carl George, Joey Walsh, Matt Foreman, Vito Russo, Larry Kramer, Tom Kalin, Marlene McCarty, Charles Rice-González, George Ayala, Essex Hemphill, Manolo Guzmán, Donald Moffett, Cladd Stevens, Richard Elovich, Loring McAlpin, Michael Nesline, Peter Staley, David France, Andrew Miller, and others.

Oral history interview with Frederick Weston, 2016 August 31-September 5

Archives of American Art
4 sound files (5 hrs., 28 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 130 pages.

An interview with Frederick Weston, conducted 2016 August 31 and September 5, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Weston's home in New York, N.Y.

Weston speaks of his childhood in Detroit; early understandings of his gender; attending Ferris State University in Michigan; moving to New York in 1973; New York nightclub culture before the AIDS crisis; studying at FIT and working in the fashion industry; beginning to consider himself an artist in the late 1990s after years of collage work in street settings; being diagnosed with HIV in the mid-1990s; imbuing his art with his personal experience; his body of work in photography, installations, and poetry; his health care and regiment since being diagnosed with HIV; evolutions in his personal outlook since being diagnosed; the trajectory of his sex life from adolescence; moving into his current apartment in Chelsea; and reflections on America's racial situation. Weston also recalls Claude Payne, Apollonia, Billy Blair, Stephanie Crawford, Franz Renard Smith, Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, Bruce Benderson, and others.

Oral history interview with Ross Bleckner, 2016 July 6-8

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (6 hrs., 23 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 151 pages.

An interview with Ross Bleckner conducted 2016 July 6 and 8, by Linda Yablonsky, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Bleckner's studio in New York, New York.

Bleckner speaks of his early childhood on Long Island, New York; psychoanalysis treatment as a child; early sexual experiences; his journaling practice; attending college at NYU; exposure to New York City's gallery scene in the late 1960s; spending the summer of 1970 in San Francisco; enrolling in CalArts' first graduating class; moving back to New York in 1975; his approach to painting; his body of gallery exhibitions; the beginning of the the AIDS epidemic; the New York nightclub scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s; the artists, art collectors, art dealers, and celebrities he socialized with in the 1980s; his career as an art professor; the effect of the AIDS epidemic on his paintings; his work as an AIDS activist; critical responses to his AIDS-related paintings; changes in the art world and market since the 1990s; and his greatest personal influences. Bleckner also recalls Sol Lewitt, Chuck Close, Howard Conant, Irving Sandler, Lizzie Borden, Paula Cooper, Julian Schnabel, Barbara Kruger, Betty Cunningham, David Salle, Eric Fischl, David Diao, Thomas Ammann, Andy Warhol, Alexis Rockman, Bianca Jagger, Gary Indiana, Michael Kimmelman, and others.

Oral history interview with Joy Episalla, 2016 February 23 and March 17

Archives of American Art
16 sound files (5 hrs., 16 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 118 pages.

Oral history interview with Joy Episalla, conducted 2016 February 23 and March 17, by Cynthia Carr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Episalla's home and studio in New York, New York.

Interview with Joy Episalla, conducted by Cynthia Carr for the Archives of American Art, at Episalla's home in New York, New York on February 23, March 7 and 17, 2016. Episalla speaks of her childhood in Yonkers, New York; early experiences with art-making, photography and theatrical production; earning a BFA from California College of the Arts; moving to the East Village in 1979 and Hoboken in 1982; her AIDS activism in the 1990s with ACT UP, The Marys, and fierce pussy; caring for and losing friends to HIV/AIDS; retrospective histories and exhibitions of her activist work; and her artwork in the 2000s; Episalla also recalls Carrie Yamaoka, Charles Gill, Beverly D'Andrea, Robert Bordo, Mark Morris, Vanessa Jackson, David Wojnarowicz, Tom Rauffenbart, Barbara Hughes, Stephen Machon, BC Craig, Tim Hamilton, Michael Cunningham, Maxine Wolf, Sarah Schulman, Jim Hubbard, Frank Moore, and others.

Oral history interview with Gary Garrels, 2016 September 12

Archives of American Art
1 sound files (3 hrs., 7 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 73 pages.

An interview with Gary Garrels conducted 2016 September 12, by Linda Yablonsky, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at the San Francisco Museum of Art in San Francisco, California.

Garrels speaks of his recent curatorial positions; his childhood in rural Iowa; his first meaningful exposure to art while working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's gallery in Boston in the late 1970s; his first New York City gallery positions in the mid-1980s; his formative gay relationships; his body of curatorial work; launching A Day Without Art in 1988; working in Minneapolis and San Francisco in the mid-1990s; his longtime partnership with Richard Hoblock; changes in the museum world that he has observed since the start of his career; and his current lifestyle and work. Garrels also recalls John R. Lane, Neal Benezra, Irena Hochman, Laura Carpenter, Vito Acconci, David Ireland, James Surls, Stuart Sherman, Julie Sylvester, Heiner Friedrich, Julie Ault, Doug Ashford, Tim Rollins, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Tom Sokolowski, Bill Olander, Robert Atkins, Robert Gober, Kathy Halbreich, John Caldwell, and others.

Oral history interview with Hunter Reynolds, 2016 August 10-September 7

Archives of American Art
10 sound files (6 hrs., 1 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 87 pages.

An interview with Hunter Reynolds, conducted 2016 August 10-September 7, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Fales Library in New York, New York.

Reynolds speaks of his childhood in Minnesota, Florida, and California; early sexual experiences; attending Otis College of Art and Design; moving to New York in 1984 and becoming part of the East Village scene; the beginning of the AIDS crisis and safe sex discourse; his involvement in ACT UP; being diagnosed with HIV and starting ART+ Positive in Los Angeles in 1989; his body of artwork, performances, exhibitions, and activist actions; resonances between AIDS activism of the 1980s and '90s and contemporary activism around the Black Lives Matter movement; the politics of identifying as an HIV-positive artist; experimenting with drag and developing his alter ego Patina du Prey; performances with "Memorial Dress," "The Banquet," "Dervish Dress;' "Mummification" performance; living and working in Germany in the 1990s; and his personal struggle with long-term HIV survivorship; his "disaster" series and "Survial AIDS" series; and making his life, past and present, his personal masterpiece. Reynolds also recalls Kathy Burkhart, Susan Silas, Fred Tomaselli, Scott Hill, Leslie Dahlgren, Paula Cooper, Ray Navarro, Mark Kostabi, Bill Dobbs, Dread Scott, Kim Levin, Simon Watson, Maxine Henryson, Herr Vishka, Tony Feher, Jim Hodges, Dylan Nayler, Kathleen White, Krista Naylor, and others.

Day Without Art at Thirty

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Image features a poster consisting of white text on a black background. Upper center: The words "VISUAL AIDS" are printed with a cracked effect. Columns of text appear on the bottom with the names of arts organizations. Above the columns, in slightly larger, bolder text: “A Day Without Art December 1, 1989 A national day of mourning and call for action in response to the AIDS / crisis involving individuals and organizations including the following:”. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.World AIDS Day (December 1), was designated in 1988 as an occasion to raise awareness of AIDS and to commemorate those lost to the disease. Developed by Visual AIDS, an organization that supports artists and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, this poster announces the first Day Without Art on December 1, 1989. Day Without...

Oral history interview with Lia Gangitano, 2017 February 5-6

Archives of American Art
4 sound files (5 hrs., 59 min.) digital, wav

Transcipt. 74 pages.

An interview with Lia Gangitano, conducted 2017 February 5-6, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Gangitano's home in New York, New York.

Gangitano speaks of growing up in a staunchly Roman Catholic family; the religious interests of her family directly influencing her appreciation for art through formative trips to Italy; her parents' choice to raise her and her sister in suburban Connecticut in an effort to Americanize them; his father's activity in the Democratic party; the high rate of suicide and drug use in her community growing up; becoming aware of HIV through friends who were intravenous drug users; regarding her work study program at ICA Boston as her main education; her involvement in Women's Action Coalition; spending nine weeks painting during a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the realization that she didn't like her own art and instead wanted to support other people's art; the formative experience of co-curating Dress Codes; the path she took from ICA Boston to her own alternative space; Boston School show at ICA Boston; the survey of Mark Morrisroe's work at ICA Boston; her experience at Thread Waxing; navigating the process of starting a business when she founded Participant, Inc.; her desire to establish an artists' space that was non-commercial; the group exhibition Dead Flowers; Greer Lankton's retrospective at Participant; finding that people want a more active role in their art experience through Julie Tolentino's For You show; the unique mission of Participant in the art world; the desire to create and maintain a space for people to remember as well as follow their dreams. Gangitano also recalls Avery Gordon, Gayatri Spivak, Stephen Pfohl, Andrew Tavarelli, Elisabeth Sussman, Mark Morrisroe, Pat Hearn, Catherine Opie, Ron Athey, Frank Wagner, Ramsey McPhillips,.

Oral history interview with Avram Finkelstein, 2016 April 25-May 23

Archives of American Art
23 sound files (7 hrs.) digital, wav

Transcript: 148 pages

An interview with Avram Finkelstein conducted 2016 April 25-May 23, by Cynthia Carr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Finkelstein's home and studio in Brooklyn, New York.

Finkelstein speaks of his childhood on Long Island; attending the School of the Museum of fine Arts in Boston; moving to New York in the late 1970s; losing his first partner, Don Yowell, to AIDS; the genesis and distribution of his many AIDS activist posters; the beginnings and actions of ACT UP and Gran Fury; the context of the 1990s culture wars; the mishandling of HIV/AIDS as a public health issue in the 1980s and 1990s; his personal transformation as a result of living through the AIDS crisis; and his work on Flash Collective. Finkelstein also recalls Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, P.L. DiCorcia, Jorge Socarras, Lou Molette, Richard Goldstein, Larry Kramer, Chris Lione, Simon Doonan, Mark Simpson, Don Moffett, Todd Haynes, Robert Vasquez, Loring McAlpin, Michael Nesline, Tom Kalin, Amy Heard, Mark Harrington, Richard Deagle, Julie Tolentino, Lola Flash, Davod Meieran, Patrick Moore, Maria Maggenti, Sean Strub, Eric Sawyer, and others.

Oral history interview with Geoffrey Hendricks, 2016 August 17-18

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (5 hr., 33 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 171 pages

An interview with Geoffrey Hendricks conducted 2016 August 17-18, by Linda Yablonsky, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Hendricks' home in New York, New York.

Hendricks speaks of his childhood in New England and Chicago; his art education at Amherst College, Cooper Union, Yale's summer arts school, and Columbia University; his teaching career at Douglass College and Rutgers University; his affiliation and body of artwork with Fluxus; his first marriage and divorce to Nye Ffarrabas (née Beatrice Forbes); his partner Brian Buczak; involvement with Visual AIDS, Day Without Art, and other activist efforts; his relationship with Sur Rodney (Sur); his work to help HIV-positive artists plan their estates; his body of work and exhibitions as a solo artist; changes he has observed in the art world; and his hopes for his artistic legacy. Hendricks also recalls Philip Corner, Theodore Brenson, Rudolph Wittkower, Allan Kaprow, Bob Watts, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, George Maciunas, Peter Moore, Alison Knowles, Yoshi Wada, Peter van Riper, Bill Olander, Al Hansen, Francesco Conz, William Pope.L, Hermann Nitsch, Jill Johnston, and others.

Oral history interview with Lyle Ashton Harris, 2017 March 27-29

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 6 sound files (8 hr., 6 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 95 pages

An interview with Lyle Ashton Harris, conducted 2017 March 27 and 29, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Harris's studio and home in New York, New York.

Harris speaks of his childhood in the Bronx; his family's influence on his race-consciousness; living in Tanzania for two years as a child and the effects on his understanding of race and sexuality; his grandfather's extensive photographic archive; contact with the South African diaspora through his step-father; attending Wesleyan University; formative experiences in London, Amsterdam, and New York in the mid-1980s; his education and development as a photographer; attending CalArts and encountering West Coast AIDS activism; encountering systemic racism in Los Angeles; close friendships with Marlon Riggs and Essex Hemphill; exhibitions of his work in New York in the early 1990s; the production of his Ektachrome Archive and his impulse to photograph daily life; his work on the Black Community AIDS Research and Education (Black C.A.R.E.) project in Los Angeles; participating in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program; being diagnosed with HIV and remaining asymptomatic; attending the Dia Black Popular Culture Conference in 1992; photographing and mounting "The Good Life" in 1994 and "The Watering Hole" in 1996; issues of blackness and queerness in his photographic work; his residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2000; moving to Accra, Ghana for seven years in 2005; his pedagogy as an art professor; his thoughts on the lack of voices of color in the Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic Oral History Project and in the larger power structures of the art world; and his hope that his artistic legacy will be evaluated in its proper context. Harris also recalls Jackie and Robert O'Meally, Jay Seeley, Ellen O'Dench, Francesca Woodman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jim Collier, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allan Sekula, Hazel Carby, Isaac Julien, Catherine Lord, Millie Wilson, Todd Gray, John Grayson, Tommy Gear, Marlon Riggs, Essex Hemphill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nancy Barton, Vickie Mays, Connie Butler, Greg Tate, Henry Louis Gates, Houston Baker, Nan Goldin, Jack Tilton, Simon Watson, and others.

Oral history interview with Carrie Yamaoka, 2016 July 26-27

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (4 hrs., 20 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 83 pages.

An interview with Carrie Yamaoka conducted 2016 July 26-27, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Yamaoka's home in New York, New York.

Interview with Carrie Yamaoka, conducted by Alex Fialho for the Archives of American Art, at Yamaoka's home in New York, New York on July 26 and 27, 2016. Yamaoka speaks of her childhood on Long Island and in New York and Tokyo; formative exposure to visual art and photography; studying at Wesleyan University and the Tyler School of Art in Rome; meeting her partner Joy Episalla and beginning to develop her sense of queerness in Rome; moving to New York in 1979, Hoboken in 1982, and back to New York in 1993; the beginning of the AIDS crisis; her body of work and exhibitions as a painter, and changes in her work over the course of the AIDS crisis; her involvement in ACT UP and fierce pussy; the art world's reaction to AIDS activism; the social effect of more effective medication for HIV/AIDS; her involvement with Visual AIDS; retrospective exhibitions of fierce pussy's activist posters; the sense of community she developed through activism; dealing with the grief and trauma of the AIDS crisis over time; and the particular experience of women in the AIDS crisis. Yamaoka also recalls George Nakashima, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Michael Otterson, Jean Foos, Jonathan Shahn, Flavia Ormond, Jamie McEwan, Jesse Murry, Robert Bordo, Adam Simon, Michele Araujo, David Nelson, David Knudsvig, Bill Allen, Zoe Leonard, Nancy Brooks Brody, Suzanne Wright, Tim Bailey, David Wojnarowicz, Tom Rauffenbart, AA Bronson, Chrysanne Stathacos, Maxine Wolfe, Virginia Solomon, Steve Lam, Helen Molesworth, Martabel Wasserman, Jennifer Bartlett, Tony Feher, and others.

Oral history interview with Jack Waters, 2018 February 21-22

Archives of American Art
Audio: 4 sound files (5 hr., 59 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 72 pages.

An interview with Jack Waters, conducted 2018 February 21 and 22, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at the Visual AIDS office in New York, New York.

Waters speaks of his early exposure to the arts through his family and their frequent visitors and boarders; the beginnings of his political consciousness, race consciousness, sex consciousness, and self-identity during the 1960s; his dance education at the Miquon School in Philadelphia; teaching at Miquon after a briefly dancing in California; his dance and choreography education at the Julliard School and the Ailey School; his experience of the Lower East Side in the 1980s; the genesis and development of the Performing On One Leg collective; the start of the AIDS epidemic; collaborations with Gordon Kurtti and Brian Taylor, and their AIDS-related deaths; the importance of art-making and documentary practice during the AIDS epidemic; the beginning and development of his film and video work; collaborating with Peter Cramer on Black and White Study as both film and performance; receiving his HIV-positive diagnosis; the beginning and development of his work as a writer and journalist; his involvement in AIDS activist and queer activist organizations; a formative period in Ibiza during the fall 1983; his films The Male GaYze and Short Memory/No History; changes in queer activism he has observed since the 1980s, and the lack of historical memory about them; his experience of intergenerational queer dialogue; his involvement with Visual AIDS; and his thoughts on the idea of artistic legacy, both generally and in his particular case.

Oral history interview with Joey Terrill, 2017 December 30-31

Archives of American Art
Audio: 9 sound files (6 hr.,13 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 92 pages.

An interview with Joey Terrill conducted 2017 December 30 and 31, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Terrill's home and studio in Los Angeles, California.

Terrill speaks of his family and upbringing in Los Angeles; early exposure to '60s politics and working-class Chicano activism; early exposure to art-making; early understanding and experience of his queerness; attending Cathedral High School and Immaculate Heart College; moving to New York in 1980; making and distributing the first batch of Maricón and Malflora T-shirts; contemporary appreciation and revitalization of his work; the genesis, production, distribution, reissue, and legacy of Homeboy Beautiful; his seroconversion in 1980; exhibiting his Chicanos Invade New York series in 1980; memories of the early AIDS crisis and ensuing activism; testing HIV-positive in 1989, and subsequent developments in his art; his relationships with Mundo Meza, Jack Vargas, Ray Navarro, Gerardo Velazquez, Alice Armendariz, Teddy Sandoval, Carlos Almaraz, and Harry Gamboa, Jr; contributing an essay to the Art AIDS America catalogue; his still life painting practice; his 2013 retrospective at ONE Archives; ideas for an new anniversary issue of Homeboy Beautiful; his current and ongoing AIDS activism with AIDS Healthcare Foundation; and his hopes for future assessments of his legacy. Terrill also recalls Carlton Dinnall, Patssi Valdez, Jim Aguilar, Gronk, Roberto Legorreta, Willie Herrón, Terry Saunders, Richard Crawford, Sister Corita Kent, Joey Arias, Steven Fregoso, Victor Durazo, Richard T. Rodriguez, David Frantz, Ondine Chavoya, Paul Polubinskas, Daniel Ramirez, Efren Valadez, Carole Caroompas, Skot Armstrong, Greg Poe, Rea Tajiri, Richard Gildart, John Henninger, Craig Brown, Chris Brownlie, Richard Starr, Paul Coleman, Steven Muñoz, Roger Horwitz, Dr. Eugene Rolgolsky, Jef Huereque, Beto Araiza, Miguel Angel Reyes, Guillermo Hernandez, Monica Palacios, Robert Gil de Montes, Eddie Dominguez, Simon Doonan, Jonathan Katz, Rob Hernandez, Dan Guerrero, Diane Gamboa, and others.

Oral history interview with Ron Athey, 2016 June 17-18

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound files (4 hr., 40 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 68 pages

An interview with Ron Athey, conducted 2016 June 17-18, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Athey's home in Los Angeles, California.

Athey speaks of his childhood in Pomona, California; early religious experiences; early sexual experiences; formative exposure to punk music and culture in late adolescence; developing his own punk acts; contracting HIV and seroconverting; intersections between HIV/AIDS and drug-using cultures; his body of nightclub-based performative work beginning in the 1990s; his reflections on international presentations of his work; technical aspects and design elements of his performance art and film work; changes in his lifestyle and self-care regimen after seroconverting; the role of the audience in performance art; his relationship to AIDS activism; motifs of apocalypse, nihilism, and humor in his work; his place in art history; his current work as a teacher and mentor; and his contributions to American art. Athey also recalls Johanna Went, Karen Finley, Diamanda Galas, Reza Abdoh, Cynthia Carr, Leigh Bowery, Divinity Fudge, Harold Meyerson, Lia Gangitano, Brian Murphy, Amelia Jones, and others.

Oral history interview with Sur Rodney (Sur), 2016 July 12 and 15

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 2 sound files (5 hr., 50 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 83 pages

An interview with Sur Rodney (Sur) conducted 2016 July 12 and 15, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Rodney's studio in New York, New York.

Sur speaks of his cosmopolitan upbringing in Montreal; attending the Montreal Museum School of Art and Design; adopting a "freak" aesthetic; moving to New York in 1976; the confluence of his Canadian, gay, and black identities; helping to establish Gracie Mansion Gallery; contemporary erasure of the impact of AIDS and queerness on the 1980s East Village; caring for HIV-positive friends in the 1980s and 90s; the impact of AIDS on intergenerational exchange in the gay community; the ostracizing of HIV-positive artists in the art world; working to preserve HIV-positive artists's archives before their deaths; developing a more explicit black consciousness in the mid-1990s; public silences around issues of sexuality and drug use in the art world; his body of work with Visual AIDS; the impact of effective medication for AIDS on the art world; his observations on contemporary intersections of AIDS and the art world; and his vision for a world when AIDS is over. Sur also recalls J.A. Holm, Fred Wilson, Lyle Ashton Harris, Lorraine O'Grady, David Hammons, Gregg Bordowitz, Al Hansen, Buster Cleveland, Tim Greathouse, Nicolas Moufarrege, Jeffrey Deitch, Michael McDonough, Yasmin Ramirez, Keith Davis, Mysoon Rizk, Andreas Senser, David Wojnarowicz, Gil Rankin, Frank Moore, Nick Debs, AA Bronson, Alex Greenfield, and Hunter Reynolds.

Oral history interview with Sunil Gupta, 2017 May 26

Archives of American Art
Audio: 5 sound files (6 hrs., 38 min.) digital, wav

Transcript 240 pages.

An interview with Sunil Gupta conducted 2017 March 31 and April 1, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at the Visual AIDS office and the Archives of American Art office in New York, New York.

Gupta speaks of his childhood in Dehli, India; early same-sex sexual experiences; moving to Canada at age 15; adjusting to North American same-sex practices; discovering gay liberation ideology at Dawson College; working at a bathhouse and in the Canadian Army Reserves; his first photographic work for a gay newsletter in college; his first serious romantic relationships; dropping out of Columbia University's MBA program to take photography courses at the New School; moving to London and taking a master's in photography at the Royal College of Art; photography sessions with gay men in London and India; early political and artistic responses to HIV/AIDS in London; the stigma of HIV/AIDS in India; the genesis and significance of images from his book Queer; his development of race-consciousness and local political activity in London in the mid-1980s; being diagnosed with HIV; navigating London's gay and HIV-positive landscapes in the 1990s; living and working in India in the mid-2000s; HIV/AIDS care and activism in India; becoming a spokesperson for HIV/AIDS in the Indian media; India's cultures of same-sex desire and queerness; photographing for his exhibitions Sun City and Love Undetectable; marrying his current partner, Jaran Singh, in 2011; and Singh's and his own current academic research. Gupta also recalls Lisette Model, Philippe Halsman, George Tice, Bill Brandt, Jean Fraser, Kaucyila Brooke, John di Stefano, Jan Zita Grover, Hinda Schuman, Doug Ischar, Simon Watney, Cindy Patton, Sean Strub, and others. Total: digital recording; [LENGTH].; transcribed 240 pages.

Oral history interview with Marguerite Van Cook, 2016 September 19-21

Archives of American Art
5 sound files (5 hrs., 55 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 87 pages.

An interview with Marguerite Van Cook, conducted 2016 September 19 and 21, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at the Visual AIDS office in New York, New York.

Interview with Marguerite Van Cook, conducted by Alex Fialho for the Archives of American Art, at the Visual AIDS office in New York, New York on September 19 and 21, 2016. Van Cook speaks of her childhood in Portsmouth, England and summers in France; early exposure to the arts; early sexual experiences; moving to Newcastle and forming the punk band The Innocents; moving to New York with the band; curating shows and installations and starting Ground Zero Gallery with her husband James Romberger; the devastation of the AIDS crisis on her East Village social milieu; advocating for HIV-positive homeless people; her body of visual and audiovisual artwork; raising her child during the AIDS crisis; being diagnosed, along with with Romberger, with meningitis and HIV in the mid-1990s; her current work as a doctoral candidate in French literature; her body of work as a writer; her experience of long-term HIV survivorship; and her reflections on living with HIV as a woman. Van Cook also recalls Edward Brennan, Martin Botha, Sarah Hall, Jamie Reid, Russ Meyer, Fiona Barry, Greg Van Cook, Martin Wong, Karen Finley, David Wojnarowicz, Michael Von Ofak, Luis Frangella, Keiko Bonk, Walter Robinson, Grace Borgenicht, Leonard Abrams, and others.

Oral history interview with James Wentzy, 2017 January 23-March 31

Archives of American Art
Sound recording: 15 sound files (5 hr., 13 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 164 pages

An interview with James Wentzy, conducted 2017 January 23-March 31, by Cynthia Carr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Wentzy's home and studio in New York, New York.

Wentzy speaks of his childhood in South Dakota; studying filmmaking at Southern Illinois University; moving to New York and shooting commercial films in the late 1970s; working and homesteading in the photography studio of James Dee; the beginning of the AIDS crisis; being diagnosed with HIV in 1990; his participation in and extensive documentation of ACT UP meetings, actions, and demonstrations; his place in the genealogy of AIDS activism; and his body of film and television work. Wentzy also recalls Darrel Ellis, Alanna Heiss, Arch Brown, James Dee, Robert Farber, Ho Tam, John Schnabel, Patrick Moore, Lou Maletta, Tony Arena, Vincent Satinire, David Buckingham, Jean Carlomusto, and others.

Oral history interview with Julie Tolentino, 2018 April 11-12

Archives of American Art
Audio: 7 sound files (6 hr., 14 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 79 pages.

An interview with Julie Tolentino conducted 2018 April 11 and 12, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at a friend's apartment in the East Village, New York.

Tolentino speaks of her childhood in San Francisco; her family dynamics, including caring for her developmentally disabled sister; Harvey Milk's assassination; early exposure to dance and art-making; early exposure to queer nightlife; briefly pursuing dance training in Los Angeles after high school; soon thereafter moving to New York; volunteering for the National Gay and Lesbian Suicide Hotline; her involvement with ACT UP; experiences of AIDS-related grief; her close friendships during this time; continuing her dance education and performance practice in the late '80s and '90s; founding and operating the Clit Club; changes in the landscape of queerness during the '90s; managing the performance companies of David Roussève and Ron Athey; the beginning of her solo practice with Mestiza-Que Ojos Bonitos Tienes; the installation Marks of My Civilization; the beginning of ART+; her role in Madonna's book Sex; her reflections on the visibility of her body; developing the Lesbian AIDS Project's Safer Sex Handbook; her performance works For You, Sky Remains the Same, and Honey; her video work evidence; and her awareness of the past's construction and meaning in the present. Tolentino also recalls Page Hodel, Doug McDowell, Maxine Wolfe, Ann Northrup, David Robinson, Ray Navarro, Aldo Hernandez, Anthony Ledesma, Lola Flash, Catherine Gund, Zoe Leonard, Robert Garcia, Jocelyn Taylor, Martina Yamin, Cookie Mueller, Diamanda Galas, D.M. Machuca, Pigpen, John Lovett, Alessandro Codagnone, John Killacky, Lia Gangitano, Alistair Fate, Steven Meisel, Cythia Madansky, Kim Christensen, Kate Clinton, Lori Seid, Ori Flomin, Abigail Severance, and others.

Oral history interview with John Dugdale, 2017 January 17-18

Archives of American Art
2 sound files (6 hrs., 1 min.) digital, wav

Transcript: 122 pages.

An interview with John Dugdale conducted 2017 January 17-18, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Dugdale's studio in New York, New York.

Dugdale speaks of finding great joy in his elementary school art teacher's classes; taking photographs of his siblings as a child; growing up in Stamford, Connecticut and remembering every detail of Little Italy; being bullied as a kid for being different; being a voracious reader; the impact of his parents' divorce at age 8; his interest in photography in high school taking him to the School of Visual Arts in New York City; being diagnosed HIV-positive; his first job photographing flowers for Mädderlake florists; the launch of his commercial photography career and the success that followed; caring for his friends who were sick and dying, thinking that would be his role in this epidemic; the stroke that left him almost completely blind and his extremely low T-cell count at the time of his hospitalization; spending a year in the hospital and ultimately checking himself out and recovering at home; the tremendous support of his family and community; having six weeks to prepare for a show at Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art upon returning home from the hospital; resurrecting the cyanotype process for the show; his surprise at the success of the show, and slow realization that people were moved by viewing their own experiences through his photographs; appreciation of the male body; being his own activist; creating art with the intention to draw people in and not scare them away; understanding and appreciating the power of the human body after experiencing multiple strokes and sight loss, and how these events brought more depth to his work; interacting with his models; a struggle with loneliness and desire for intimacy; the feeling of being awake and paying closer attention to the world around him; existing on borrowed time; experiencing a massive stroke as a result of long-term medication use; being HIV-positive for 10 years without showing symptoms; refusing to take AZT; his religious and spiritual beliefs; just as repaired Ming vases, feeling himself more powerful now in his "broken" state; his reaction to being represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; his love of being a gay man and feeling strongly that he would change nothing about his life; finding difficulty in being identified as an HIV-related artist; and the house fire that helped him realize that we own nothing in this life, not even our own bodies. Dugdale also recalls his partner Rey Clarke, Maurice Sendak, Louise Nevelson, Keith Haring. Karen Waltuck, Tom Pritchard, Billy Jarecki, Carla Grande, Cynthia O'Neal, and Karen Murphy.
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