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You might have noticed that artists and writers are beginning to look back and reflect upon the 1980s and that era that has come to be known as the “AIDS crisis”? I am thinking about Just Kids by Patti Smith, a memoir that chronicles her early years in New York and her pivotal friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. I am also thinking about a couple of films that came out last year: How to Survive a Plague and United in Anger: A History of ACT UP.

We are now two plus decades on from that generation-destroying/defining time and those artists who are still around seem ready to reflect upon their experience from a vantage point less steeped in urgency and heightened emotion. Back then the art being produced was big and loud and angry; it was designed to grab attention – for good reason. Back then the books being written were biographies and memoirs written by men such as Paul Monette, men in their thirties, lives cut short.

The work being produced now is calmer and more clear-eyed. It seems driven by a desire to historicize the era accurately and to acknowledge those swept up in the upheaval.

Survivors, a small exhibition of photographic portraits on display at the San Diego Pride Gallery does just that. The exhibition is a collection of portraits of San Diegans who were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS early on and who are still living here in the community. The exhibition aims to remind us that HIV/AIDS is still relevant but it does so by profiling a diverse set of individuals who were swept up from the start.

On view until the end of January.

If you are an artist who would like to exhibit your work at the Pride Gallery contact John at jcksdca@gmail.com

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=33347

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013. Filed under The Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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