Artforum: "Exposé*es" (Zoe Leonard)

June 23, 2023

“GARBAGE COVERS every inch of the streets.” Kathy Acker’s 1978 description of trash abandoned in a New York riddled with debt opens queer and feminist writer Elisabeth Lebovici’s essay about her move in 1979 from Paris to New York, where she began her doctorate in aesthetics and lived through the beginning of the AIDS crisis. Acker’s salvo could just as easily have described Paris this past March, when the city’s striking sanitation workers left trash to pile up in the posher neighborhoods and “Exposé·es”—an exhibition inspired by Lebovici’s scintillating 2017 book of criticism and interviews, Ce que le sida m’a fait. Art et activisme à la fin du XXe siècle—opened at the Palais de Tokyo. While we wait for a publisher to sign on for an English-language edition, the exhibition translated the book’s title as What AIDS Did to Me, although it might also be called How AIDS Unmade Me.

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