The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) and
Visual AIDS present
aids/art/work 30 May 2008 • The Graduate Center, CUNY • 9am-5pm
This one-day conference will explore the pasts, presents, and futures
of AIDS art, AIDS activism, and AIDS prevention, and the connections
between them. In a series of panels and a culminating roundtable, AIDS/
Art/Work will look at the often productive, sometimes uneasy relationships
between art inspired by AIDS and HIV/AIDS prevention, focusing
on the following concerns:
Art/Work: What does AIDS art look like? Is there such a thing as
an AIDS art aesthetic and if so how has it changed over time? What
is the relationship between so-called avant-garde or conceptual art and
representational art within the framework of ‘AIDS art’? Do we evaluate
art whose purpose is to educate about, or prevent, HIV/AIDS differently
from art that doesn’t have ‘utility’? Is ‘AIDS art’ beyond criticism?
AIDS/Art/Movement: How might we historicize and understand the
AIDS activist movement in relation to artistic production? What part
have AIDS-inspired artists played in stimulating political change? How
did AIDS-related art change the course of the ‘Culture Wars’? Is there
a continuing disjuncture between ‘militant’ art and work that expresses
grief and loss? When AIDS art itself becomes institutionalized via the
museum, the university, or the archive, what happens to its political
Art/AIDS/Prevention: Can art save our lives? What can we learn
from the histories of AIDS activism, AIDS art, and HIV/AIDS prevention
campaigns? Have these collaborations worked? How do we defi ne effectiveness
in prevention? How have, or can, artists work with activists and
HIV/AIDS service agencies to create useful campaigns? In today’s overheated
art market, how do emerging artists connect with the legacy of
HIV/AIDS and its art? What threats remain and work needs to be done?
To register, go to the CLAGS website at and click on
the AIDS/Art/Work link. Registration is $30 ($20 for students. Please
contact CLAGS about sliding scale) for the day and includes breakfast,
lunch, and a concluding reception. For more information, contact Naveed
Alam at or (212) 817-1955.