Collective responses to HIV

Collective responses to HIV

Sternberg Press

Art+Positive (Lola Flash, Aldo Hernández, Hunter Reynolds), Positive/Negative Flag, 1990. Mixed media collage on Foamcore. Installation view, Militant Eroticism: The Art+Positive Archives at Iceberg Projects, Chicago. Photo: Jim Prinz.


November 29, 2017
Collective responses to HIV
Book launch and public conversation
December 2, 2017, 3pm
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Militant Eroticism: The ART+Positive Archives edited by Dr. Daniel Berger and John Neff (Sternberg Press)
After Silence: A History of AIDS through Its Images by Avram Finkelstein (University of California Press)

From the very start of the response to AIDS, communities have come together in urgency and creativity to improve and save lives. For this year’s Day With(out) Art / World AIDS Day, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is honoring the release of two new books that explore the power of art and collective action.

Daniel Berger and John Neff will share art and histories from their books and contextualize Art+Positive’s practice in relationship to our current moment. Avram Finkelstein will tell the story of how his work and other protest artworks associated with the early years of the AIDS pandemic were created. They will be joined by Jennifer Flynn Walker (Center for Popular Democracy) and Jaron Benjamin (Housing Works), AIDS activists inspired by the past, who will share the behind-the-scenes process of recent health-care activism. The conversation, organized by Theodore (Ted) Kerr, will be moderated by Lisa Dent.

About Militant Eroticism: The ART+Positive Archives
Published by Sternberg Press, this book is the first survey of the art and practice of Art+Positive, a significant affinity group of ACT UP New York during the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Staging self-initiated actions, and also participating in larger demonstrations organized by ACT UP, Art+Positive practiced an improvisational approach to activism at the intersection of the AIDS crisis and the culture wars of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their multiplatform projects were especially focused on fighting AIDS phobia, censorship, homophobia, misogyny, and racism within the art world. Members, collaborators, and contributors to Art+Positive included artists Lola Flash, Nan Goldin, Aldo Hernández, Zoe Leonard, Ray Navarro, Hunter Reynolds, Catherine (Saalfield) Gunn, Julie Tolentino, and David Wojnarowicz.

The Art+Positive archives, assembled by Hunter Reynolds in the mid-1990s, were out of public view for more than twenty years. Art collector and HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Daniel Berger acquired the group’s archives in early 2015. Shortly thereafter, he and artist John Neff presented an exhibition of the archives at Iceberg Projects, Chicago. Militant Eroticism: The ART+Positive Archives documents that exhibition and is extensively illustrated with artworks, documents, protest ephemera, and meeting notes from the Art+Positive archives. Also included are essays by Berger, Neff, and former ACT UP member and scholar Debra Levine. These essays are presented alongside previously unpublished writings by Ray Navarro, Hunter Reynolds, and David Wojnarowicz.

The Chicago book launch will take place on Tuesday, December 19, 6–8pm, at Rhona Hoffman Gallery.

Militant Eroticism
The ART+Positive Archives

Edited by Dr. Daniel Berger, John Neff
December 2017, English
21.6 x 28 cm, 130 pages, 78 color ill., softcover with dust jacket
ISBN 978-3-95679-365-3

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Sternberg Press
November 29, 2017

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