Restoring the voices of the friends of the fight against AIDS; articulating the “I” and the “we” of then and today; examining facts and affects little known to the French and European public; analyzing the epidemic of consequential representation which followed the emergence of AIDS: such is the agenda of this book, conceived by Elisabeth Lebovici as a “discourse of method” in which the personal is always political, and public and private spheres are closely intertwined. Engaged alongside French and American AIDS activists, Elisabeth Lebovici was a privileged observer, as an art historian and journalist, of the debates and issues of the 1980s and 1990s. In this book, Lebovici analyzes the relationships between art and activism at this pivotal moment, which she revisits from her memory as witness and survivor.
Monographic essays, new interviews, and thematic texts compose this volume, written in the first person—the only one possible. It thus proposes, in a constant to-and-fro movement between the United States and France, an elective cosmology: ACT UP, the “telephone trees,” Richard Baquié, Gregg Bordowitz, Alain Buffard, Douglas Crimp, the “political burials,” General Idea, Nan Goldin, Félix González-Torres, Gran Fury, Roni Horn, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Zoe Leonard, Mark Morrisroe, William Ollander, The Real Estate Show, Lionel Soukaz, Philippe Thomas, Georges Tony Stoll, Paul Vecchiali, David Wojnarowicz, Dana Wyse, the zaps, and many more.
Originally published in 2017, the second edition (2020) of this acclaimed book—which was awarded the Prix Pierre Daix 2017—features a new postface and an annotated chronology (1969–2020).