Thursday, November 12, 2009

Act Up: Carpenter Center, Harvard

"ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987-1993" is now on view at Harvard's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts on Quincy Street in Cambridge. I was there this afternoon for co-curator Helen Molesworth's lively, intelligent gallery talk, which focused on both the aesthetic quality of the movement's artwork and its political message. Many of the members of ACT UP (The Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) were artists and graphic designers. Some of their work for ACT UP appeared in store windows and billboards. I wonder whether that would be possible in these tame times.

The posters are provocative and well designed.

This one urges the use of condoms, the "scumbags" that save lives.

Here's a new take on the senior George Bush's tough-guy words:

Helen Molesworth said we can still call the White House. She joked about the timeless quality of art: the number of the White House is the same as when this artwork was made.


  1. this is really interesting. I wish I'd heard the talk.

  2. The exhibit will be up until Dec. 23, on first floor and in the Sert Gallery on the second floor.