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Open Daily: 10am - 10pm | Alley-side Pickup: 10am - 7pm
3038 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN
612-822-4611
It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic

It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic

Lowery, Jack

Hardcover

General ArtGeneral World HistoryGLBTQIA Studies

Publisher Price: $35.00

ISBN10: 1645036588
ISBN13: 9781645036586
Publisher: Bold Type Books
Published: Apr 5 2022
Pages: 432
Weight: 1.40
Height: 1.50 Width: 6.06 Depth: 9.37
Language: English

The story of art collective Gran Fury--which fought back during the AIDS crisis through direct action and community-made propaganda--offers lessons in love and grief.

In the late 1980s, the AIDS pandemic was annihilating queer people, intravenous drug users, and communities of color in America, and disinformation about the disease ran rampant. Out of the activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), an art collective that called itself Gran Fury formed to campaign against corporate greed, government inaction, stigma, and public indifference to the epidemic.

Writer Jack Lowery examines Gran Fury's art and activism from iconic images like the Kissing Doesn't Kill poster to the act of dropping piles of fake bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Lowery offers a complex, moving portrait of a collective and its members, who built essential solidarities with each other and whose lives evidenced the profound trauma of enduring the AIDS crisis.

Gran Fury and ACT UP's strategies are still used frequently by the activists leading contemporary movements. In an era when structural violence and the devastation of COVID-19 continue to target the most vulnerable, this belief in the power of public art and action persists.

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General World History