Exposé·es: people did not choose to be exposed to a virus, an illness, an epidemic.
Exposé·es: people did choose to be exposed in order to make visible this virus, this illness, this epidemic.
Amongst these people were artists. Amongst these viruses, these illnesses, was HIV/AIDS, which caused the deadliest epidemic of the past century and of the present one.
Today we live amidst epidemics that affect all of us, humans and non-humans alike. The book that inspired this exhibition, Elisabeth Lebovici’s Ce que le sida m’a fait. Art et activisme à la fin du XXe siècle [What AIDS Did to Me – Art and Activism at the End of the 20th Century] looks to sew back together subjective fragments of the deadliest epidemic of the last century: the facts, works, ideas and emotions that linked the material to the immaterial. It questions how the pulsations of desire, loss, anger, pain, memory and the archive have together made history. How they allowed for the (re)composition of interrupted genealogies, the federation of communities that produced forms and structures that still operate today, at times beyond their initial aims. How they anticipated questions of gender, class and race and the unconscious dynamic of ableism, the construction of norms around a putative state of “good health”.
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