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.
Illustrated with numerous archive documents and ephemera emphasizing the importance of graphic design in the fight against AIDS, "Ce que le sida m’a fait" (What AIDS has done to me) is an essential book to understand the "AIDS years," this period of artistic creativity and activism born of the urgency to live and the struggle for the recognition of all.
An art historian and critic, Elisabeth Lebovici explores, in her research, books, and lectures, the articulation between feminism, gender studies, queer politics, LGBT activism, and the contemporary arts. She is the author, among numerous publications, of "Femmes/artistes, artistes/femmes, Paris de 1880 à nos jours" (with Catherine Gonnard, Hazan, Paris 2007) and animates the blog lebeau-vice.blogspot.com.