Dispatches from the fight against homelessness and AIDS
Posted by Sunny Bjerk , July 11, 2013
Image from whitney.org: Nicholas Nixon (b. 1947), Catherine and Tom Moran, East Braintree, Massachusetts, 1987.Gelatin silver print, 7 11 16 × 9 5 8 in. (19.5 × 24.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Photography Committee 2003.249
The history of the AIDS pandemic will always be tied to the history of New York City. As one of the largest epicenters of HIV/AIDS, the city was hit especially hard by the disease but politicians and local leaders largely refused to address HIV/AIDS for most of the 80s. Communities were ravaged and the city’s most vulnerable—gay men, men of color, and homeless men and women—were left to fend for themselves.
This history of AIDS in New York City is explored in the Whitney Museum’s exhibit I, You, We, which chronicles the city in the late 80s and early 90s and that era’s currents events: AIDS, Reagan, gentrification, and the rise and fall of the stock market.
The exhibit highlights photos, paintings, sketches, and paintings from the era, which the New York Times dubbed “the era of identity politics.” Of note are the pieces that capture New York City artists’ reactions to the disease and the political lethargy in helping those living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, I, You, We also houses David Wojnarowicz’s photos of his lover Peter Hujar, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1987.
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