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More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware of their infection.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 2015.

On The Protest of Art and the Art of Protest 

On December 17, Tacoma Action Collective (TAC) protested at Tacoma Art Museum, holding a Die In in the Art AIDS America galleries. On December 30, TAM and TAC met to continue the conversation about TAC’s peaceful protest, the number of Black artists represented in the exhibition, and inclusion within the museum at all levels. The meeting was productive and yielded mutual agreements on next steps. TAM supports the further inclusion of Black artists in the exhibition and associate programming as Art AIDS America heads out on national tour.

Read more about TAM’s ongoing work toward greater inclusion here, and here.

The protest of provocative art is far from a new occurrence, particularly when the subject of the art is tangential to sex.   Sur Rodney (Sur) is a writer, artist, archivist, and activist who contributed a scholarly essay to the  Art AIDS America catalogue. In his concise summary (download PDF), Sur reminds us that contemporary artists use their voices and work to engage issues of politics, inequality, conflict, injustice and more.  He outlines almost half a century of momentous art protests, from 1969-2015, including the recent protest at TAM. Since his writing on this summary,  a protest has also been held at a Boston museum surrounding insensitive use of a Kimono in a public interactive art moment (February 2016).

In the News

Links to reviews and articles about the exhibition.

Exhibition Catalogue

  • 288 pages with more than 200 illustrations
  • Published in association with the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London
  • Designed by Marquand Books, Seattle

Exhibition Catalogue Contributors

  • Jonathan David Katz, Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo
  • Rock Hushka, Chief Curator, Tacoma Art Museum
  • Bill Arning, Director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • Glen Helfand, Senior Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts and Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts
  • Christopher Reed, Professor of English and Visual Culture, and Christopher Castiglia, Liberal Arts Research Professor of English, at the Pennsylvania State University
  • Teresa Bramlette Reeves, Assistant Professor and Director of Curatorial Affairs at Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw State University
  • David Román, Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at University of Southern California
  • Nelson Santos, Executive Director of Visual AIDS, with Amy Sadao, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and Ted Kerr, Programs Manager at Visual AIDS
  • Sarah Schulman, Co-Director of the ACT UP Oral History Project, Co-Producer of “UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP,” Co-Founder of MIX: NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival, and Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island
  • Sur Rodney (Sur), Writer, Artist, Archivist, and Activist, Former Co-Director of the Gracie Mansion Gallery, and Co-Founder of the Frank Moore Archive Project (1996)
  • Joey Terrill, Artist, with Robb Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Latina/o Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of California, Riverside