AIDS©: Who Owns the “History” of AIDS?

Panel | AIDS©: Who Owns the “History” of AIDS?


How did the panic caused by a white “Patient Zero” news story in 1987 come to eclipse the announcement of a 1968 case of HIV/AIDS discovered posthumously in a black teenager from St. Louis? What does it mean that the Centers for Disease Control did not include the manifestations of immunosuppression common to women in the AIDS definition until twelve years into the epidemic, or that the New Museum does not loan the original Silence=Death neon sign in their permanent collection, but will send instructions to remake it if you promise to destroy it after exhibiting it?

Join Avram Finkelstein for a curated discussion about the intricate ecosystem of narratives that we refer to as the “history” of AIDS, with panelists Theodore Kerr, writer, artist and political organizer; artist LJ Roberts; and Sonia Katyal, co-author of Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership.

Avram Finkelstein is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He is one of the founding members of the Silence=Death collective and the art collective, Gran Fury, with whom he collaborated on public art commissions for international institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Venice Biennale, Artforum and The New Museum. He has just completed a book on dismantling the AIDS narrative through its images, and is one of the artists featured in the upcoming Visual Arts and AIDS Epidemic oral history project at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

Theodore Kerr is a Brooklyn-based writer and organizer whose work focuses on HIV/AIDS. He was the programs manager with Visual AIDS, has recently completed a research project on Christian Ethics and HIV at Union Theological Seminary, and a residency at the Deutsches Hygiene Museum Dresden in conjunction with their exhibition AIDS: Based on a True Story, curated by Vladimir Cajkovac.

L.J. Roberts is an artist and writer whose practice explores the intersections of feminist, queer and trans politics, activism, the AIDS epidemic, collective action, community, and protest. Incorporating a wide range of textile techniques and filmmaking, their work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Carnegie Mellon University, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Brooklyn Museum.

Sonia Katyal is the Chancellor's Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and Faculty Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Her scholarly work focuses on intellectual property, art law, civil rights (including gender, race and sexuality), property theory, and technology/new media, and includes the book, Property Outlaws (Yale University Press, 2010, with Eduardo M. Peñalver), which studies the intersection between civil disobedience and innovation in property and intellectual property frameworks.

Thursday, October 20, 2016 6-8 pm

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10003