We interrupt this program. Curating as interfering and the mapping of AIDS video activism in New York | 1982–1992

Video, film and television were among the media used by artists in the AIDS era to present counter discursive narratives of the AIDS crisis, and therefore resist and interfere with the political status quo. The research is historical grounded and archive based. It brings to the surface less known independent video works produced mostly in the US during and in response to the heyday of the AIDS epidemic and rarely seen after their initial appearance. By introducing these works into a different historical narrative and creating a context –spatial, temporal as well as theoretical– for unexpected relations to emerge, the research aims at further questioning how filmmakers succeeded in affecting the discursive space in which society represented AIDS in the 1980s, and therefore they offered video as a possible toolbox for producing change.

Tommaso Speretta is a curator, writer and editor currently based in Venice, Italy. He has curated projects independently as well as worked for art institutions such as the Venice Art and Architecture Biennale, The Office for Contemporary Art Norway and the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. Tommaso is the author of the book “REBELS REBEL. AIDS, Art and Activism in New York, 1979–1989” (Ghent: MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2014).

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Richter, Dr. João Florêncio