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In the Days of AIDS. Art works, Narratives, Interweavings

Georges Tony Stoll, Homme-cible, 1999. Tirage couleur, 75x50cm. Strasbourg, MAMCS. Photo : Mathieu Bertola, Musées de Strasbourg
« In the Days of AIDS »: the title refers to a time that is still with us. Despite significant medical
progress, the epidemic has still not been overcome. We have seen over the past forty years
fear, bereavement, courage, mutual support, hope, all interwoven and sustained by creative art
forms whose power has been an inspiration for our time. A multidisciplinary exhibition, « In the
Days of AIDS » presents four decades of creation in which the visual arts, literature, music,
cinema and dance have joined up with scientific research, popular culture and decisive action
by the associations.
From the early 1980s, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and its terminal stage, AIDS,
exploded uncontrollably in the United-States, France and soon in the rest of the world. This health
crisis also revealed itself as a crisis in conceptions, which has continued to the present day to
produce new forms of creation. The virus has decimated a generation of creators, male and female,
writers, choreographers, film makers and visual artists while, explicitly or implicitly, the disease has
stealthily invaded art. Today we can still see committed and even militant utterances developing
among artists, while the struggle continues for greater tolerance, visibility and minority rights, including
through the intermediary of works of art.

Designed as a chrono-thematic journey seeking to plunge the visitor into a maelstrom of sensations
and questionings, the exhibition is divided into sections. This division emphasizes the energies
brought into play – and the interweavings between them – in order to counter something that, to quote
Elisabeth Lebovici, is not just an illness but a scandal. The works arranged in the exhibition space are
accompanied by INA audiovisual montages that bring together objects and archives linked to the
history of AIDS. The scenography, immersive or fostering intimacy, offers a visit in which sensations
play a major part and reflects the diversity of the fields of creation occupied by this project, relying on
the life drive that vitalizes creation.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a « Full-time Information Service » offering visitors who so
desire exchanges with representatives of the health and solidarity sector, prevention specialists and
voluntary workers from various associations. This service, available within the museum itself, thus
exemplifies its role as a community institution.

Artists exhibited (non-exhaustive list): Sophie Calle, Copi, Johan Creten, Marlene Dumas, General
Idea, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Hervé Guibert, John Hanning, Derek Jarman, Michel
Journiac, Zoe Leonard, Mehryl Ferri Levisse, Robyn Orlin, Bruno Pelassy, Jean-Michel Othoniel,
Marion Scemama, Barthelemy Toguo, Jean-Luc Verna, David Wojnarowicz…

Exhibition Curator: Estelle Pietrzyk, Head Curator of MAMCS
Research Team: Thierry Laps, Anna Millers, Coralie Pissis, Alexandre Zebdi-Libot
Research Advisers: Thibaud Croisy, writer and stage director, Didier Roth-Bettoni, journalist, author,
cinema historian and radio producer
Exhibition Scenography: Roll-Office (Ian Ollivier and Lucie Rebeyrol)

This exhibition benefits from the exceptional support of Strasbourg Eurometropolis
This exhibition is available in

Museum details

1 place Hans Jean Arp
+33 3 68 98 50 00
Opening hours

48.580042, 7.736511