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The Archives of American Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art are presenting a symposium, Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic, on July 13, 2018, from 1‒5 p.m. at the Whitney. Featuring conversations with artists, activists, and historians reflecting on the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90s, the event will incorporate material from the Archives’ Oral History Project of the same name.

The symposium is presented in conjunction with the opening of the Whitney’s exhibition David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, on view through September 30, 2018. Funded by The Keith Haring Foundation, the event is free, open to the public with advanced registration here, and will be live-streamed on the Whitney’s YouTube channel. Also funded with support from the Haring Foundation, the Oral History Project is a series of 40 in-depth interviews with key witnesses to the AIDS epidemic, revealing its profound impact on the visual arts community in America and, in particular, New York City.
Friday, July 13, 2018

1:00–1:30 p.m.
Welcome: David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art

Welcome and introductory remarks: Kate Haw, Director, Archives of American Art

1:30–2:15 p.m.
Panel I, moderator Ted Kerr, writer, organizer, curator

Panelists consider how they perceive and respond to the prevailing narrative(s) around HIV/AIDS and the art world; how their memory, history, and understanding of the past differ from this narrative; and if being a part of the Archives’ Oral History Project created new meanings about their place within the larger chronicle.

• Avram Finkelstein
• Sur Rodney (Sur)
• James Wentzy
• Alexandra Juhasz

2:15–3:00 p.m.
Panel II, moderator Cynthia Carr, writer and cultural critic

Panelists focus on artists not associated with collaborative groups, whose responses to the AIDS epidemic may be more subtle and individualistic and operating within the contexts of acting, music, and fashion.

• Frank Holliday
• Marguerite Van Cook
• Fred Weston

3:30–4:15 p.m.
Panel III, moderator Alex Fialho, Programs Director, Visual AIDS

Panelists considers collective political action groups that confronted oppression and invented new ways of protest, as well as activism then and now.

• Robert Vázquez-Pacheco
• Joy Episalla
• Carrie Yamaoka
• Julie Tolentino

4:15–5:00 p.m.
Panel IV, moderator Liza Kirwin, Deputy Director, Archives of American Art

Panelists discuss their personal stories and how their understanding of the crisis changed over the course of the Project.

• Ted Kerr
• Alex Fialho
• Cynthia Carr
• Svetlana Kitto

WHERE Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, New York City

REGISTER Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Archives of American Art, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the preeminent institution documenting the history of art in America. Encompassing letters, sketchbooks, diaries, emails, photographs, and films, the collections span the 18th to the 21st centuries and continue to grow. It is the most comprehensive archive of its kind, representing generations of American artists, collectors, dealers, and scholars, including the largest inventory of art-related oral histories in the world. Broadening access to the Archives’ collections on the virtual frontier has advanced digital humanities and will continue to expand research and discovery of our nation’s rich cultural history.

The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.