AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism, presented at the Museum of the City of New York from May to October 2017, aimed to complement and complicate popular narratives about the history of HIV/AIDS by examining how HIV/AIDS played out in the everyday lives of diverse communities in New York. The exhibition placed works of art alongside documentary photography, film, and archival materials in unique ways to ask visitors to rethink what counts as activism and to reconsider home as a crucial political space. This paper reflects on the ways the curator sought to activate the domestic archive—the everyday ephemera and affects of illness, caretaking, and family life.
Public Disclosures of Private Realities: HIV/AIDS and the Domestic Archive
Stephen Vider is a visiting assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College. His forthcoming book, Queer Belongings: Gender, Sexuality, and the American Home After World War II (University of Chicago Press), traces how American conceptions of the home have shaped LGBT relationships and politics from 1945 to the present. From 2015 to 2017, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York, where he curated the exhibition AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism. He was also co-curator, with Donald Albrecht, of Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York (2016–2017) and co-author of an accompanying book, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His writing has appeared in Gender & History, American Quarterly, Transition, Time, Slate, and Smithsonian.com, as well as several edited volumes. He will start as Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Public History Initiative at Cornell University in Fall 2019.
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Stephen Vider; Public Disclosures of Private Realities: HIV/AIDS and the Domestic Archive. The Public Historian 1 May 2019; 41 (2): 163–189. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2019.41.2.163
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