‘Art, AIDS, Activism’: David Wojnarowicz, Stuart Marshall & Kia LaBeija
Manchester School of Art
17th February 2022
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In this talk, Greg Thorpe discusses the work of three visual artists whose work on HIV and AIDS politicise(d) the virus in ways that are inextricably linked to survival, defiance, despair and beauty.
Stuart Marshall was an English video artist, Manchester-born but based in London, whose work ‘Journal of the Plague Year’ (1984) was perhaps the first video artist response to the tidal wave of homophobia unleashed by the virus in the UK.
David Wojnarowicz was a visual artist, writer and activist whose work included his own political funeral by ACT UP New York and whose life, work and reputation are revisited in the new documentary feature Fuck You Faggot Fucker (Chris McKim, 2020).
Kia LaBeija is a dancer and visual artist, a legend of the New York ballroom scene and former Mother of the Iconic House of LaBeija. Her work as a second-generation queer woman of colour living with HIV explores legacies of survival, medicalisation, motherhood and otherness.
Greg Thorpe is an artist, writer, curator and creative producer based in Manchester. His work is largely based in queerness, community and the legacies of both.