Art activists organise in Venice for World AIDS Day
While museums imagine a Day Without Art
By William Oliver. Web only
Published online: 01 December 2009
Coinciding with World AIDS Day on 1 December, an art project celebrating Act Up, the collective of activists and gay artists formed in 1987 in response to the AIDS crisis, will take place in Venice, Italy. Around 10,000 stickers and 150 posters featuring the image of two yellow gloves will be distributed throughout the city as part of the project titled “New York Memories”. Conceived by Tommaso Speretta, Andrea Goffo and Claudia Zini, the project is supported by charitable trust Fondazione Claudio Buziol. The logo used on the posters and stickers, designed by artist Elena Xausa, is a direct reference to one of the first Act Up demonstrations that took place in the late 1980s. Police officers attending the event, and subsequently arresting 64 of the participants for civil disturbance, wore yellow latex sanitary gloves in fear of contamination from HIV positive protestors.
Meanwhile, museums around the world are taking part in the annual Day Without Art event, started by the activist organisation Visual Aids to remember individuals in the art world that have died from the disease. Among the institutions participating this year is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has shrouded or removed from view 16 works of art around the museum, “in recognition of the devastating losses suffered by the cultural community as a result of AIDS”. The range from a 2nd-century BC Mesopotamian mastiff figure to Salvador Dali's
Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus).
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