Architecture Critic, The New York Times
AIDS exposed what was then a deeply prejudiced, dysfunctional ignorance and attitude towards sexuality and toward healthcare. It was a particularly toxic moment in the political life of the country, when you had a fierce, deeply reactionary strain of right-wing Republicanism that was hell bent on holding back social change and exploiting a medical calamity to propagate hatred. It became more than just something about the suffering and urgency of the problem; it was a crucible. Out of it came, slowly, inexorably, changing attitudes toward sexuality, and awareness that this was a health crisis that was about not just sexuality, but also poverty, and about a whole lot of other people who were not immediately represented in depictions and explanations of what was happening. It was revealed to be a global issue that involved race and religion.
View the full collaboration here: Reflecting on AIDS: Jenny Holzer in Collaboration with Surface
Artwork by Jenny Holzer
©2016 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photos: Dani Vernon