It is impossible to construct a single (or unified)
narrative around a disease which affects so many different constituencies
and connects with so many other social issues. The collage of texts and
images within this exhibit case represents a sample of the cultural impact
of AIDS and the political responses to the epidemic. Our aim is to draw
attention to the ways in which cultural narratives of AIDS have been constructed
and contested along fault lines of racism, class privilege and globally
uneven economic development, to name of few. At the same time as we highlight
the reality that AIDS is something we all live with, the particularities
and vitality of the voices of people living and dying with AIDS must not
- "The rest of my life is being unwound and seen through a frame of
death. And my anger is more about this culture's refusal to deal with
mortality. My rage is really about the fact that WHEN I WAS TOLD THAT
I'D CONTRACTED THIS VIRUS IT DIDN'T TAKE ME LONG TO REALIZE THAT I HAD
CONTRACTED A DISEASED SOCIETY AS WELL." -- David Wojnarowicz.
Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration. New York: Vintage
- The Reassurance. From: Thom Gunn. The Man with the Night
Sweats. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992.
About ten days or so
After we saw you dead
You came back in a dream.
I'm all right now you said.
And it was you, although
You were all fleshed out again:
You hugged us all round then,
And gave your welcoming beam.
How like you to be kind,
Seeking to reassure.
And, yes, how like my mind
To make itself secure.
- "Those who cannot be contained within this family will be simply left
to die, but such an outcome will be rapid because 'African AIDS' seems
to inexplicably move faster than AIDS (largely because the Western drug
companies cannot make any money there). Africa is thus once more experiencing
border constructions that mask state-sponsored genocide as indigenous
social and cultural formations are elided in the interests of a brave
new world of disease-free--and controllable--bourgeois family units."
-- Cindy Patton. Containing African AIDS. p. 136
(Click on thumbnail images for larger versions)
|| Renee Sabatier et al. Blaming Others: Prejudice,
Race and Worldwide AIDS. London: Panos Institute, 1988.
|ACT UP/New York Women and AIDS Book Group.
Women, AIDS, and Activism. Boston: South End Press, 1990.
|| Simon Watney. Policing Desire: Pornography, AIDS and
the Media. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
| Roxy: Life, Love and Sex in the Nineties: Picture
Thriller. Cape Town, South Africa: Medical Research Council,
the Progressive Primary Health Care network, and The Story Circle,
[n.d.] (Click here for excerpt...)
"This photonovella is a component of a larger school AIDS education
programme researched and developed by the Medical Research Council's
national AIDS Research Programme."
Afrikaans safe-sex poster:
"Ik vrij veilig ... of ik vrij niet".
(Rough translation: I play safe, or I don't
play at all.)
"Earring Magic" Ken
Barbie & her friend play