Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic Symposium

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art Funded by The Keith Haring Foundation

Where:  Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014

When:  Friday, July 13, 2018

Watch the Video on Youtube (link opens in new tab)


1:00–1:20 p.m.               

David Breslin
DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art

Julia Gruen, Executive Director, The Keith Haring Foundation

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

1:30—2:15 p.m. 

Panel I Ted Kerr

Collective memory and individual narratives of the AIDS epidemic.
This panel considers how panelists perceive and respond to the prevailing narrative(s) around HIV/AIDS and the art world, how their memory, history, and understanding of the past differs from this narrative, and if being a part of this oral history project created new meanings about their place within a larger narrative.

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


2:15–3:00 p.m.

Panel II Cynthia Carr

Hybrid responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis from individual artists.
The panel focuses on artists not associated with collaborative groups, whose responses to the AIDS epidemic may be more subtle and individual and operating in the multiple spheres of acting, music, fashion. 

  • Frank Holliday
  • Marguerite Van Cook                                                    
  • Fred Weston


3:30–4:15 p.m. (45 minutes)

Panel III Alex Fialho

Race, gender, and protest: lessons from AIDS activism
This panel 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



Panel IV Liza Kirwin

Learning and remembering: four interviewers respond
Two interviewers on this project, Cynthia Carr and Linda Yablonsky, were active in the art world in the 1980s and 90s, at the height of the AIDS crisis in New York.  Alex Fialho, Ted Kerr, and Svetlana Kitto have a received knowledge of that time. How have their understandings of this particular moment changed through this project? What is the personal impact of this project? How do they understand their place in "making histories?"

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


More information about the Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project