On the occasion of World AIDS Day, the event is dedicated to the works of General Idea that were created in the context of HIV/AIDS and links them to the exhibition and collection history of the Gay Museum in Berlin.
From the very beginning, General Idea's practice has been concerned with the question of how images spread and multiply. With their move from Toronto to New York in 1985, AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal landed in the midst of the medical care crisis and media disinformation surrounding HIV/AIDS.
When they produced the first of many works in the IMAGEVIRUS series in 1986, for which they appropriated Robert Indiana's popular LOVE lettering, General Idea's images literally went viral. They infected the public space as well as the collective visual memory. This was followed by "infections" of modernist icons such as Piet Mondrian, who only worked with the primary colors red, blue and yellow in his "pure" abstract paintings: a bright, infectious green was to spread through the paintings and now also fills the exhibition rooms of the Gropius Bau.
At the same time and influenced by this historical context, the Gay Museum was founded in West Berlin. The guided tour by Ben Miller and Heiner Schulze deals with the stories and art-historical aspects of General Idea's work in relation to HIV/AIDS and will then focus on the collection and exhibition practice of the Gay Museum. Materials and information from Berlin organizations working to destigmatize and educate people about HIV/AIDS will be on display in the Resonanzraum.
Author and historian Ben Miller lives in Berlin. Together with Huw Lemmey, he wrote the book Bad Gays: A Homosexual History (2022). Since 2018, Miller has been on the board of the Schwules Museum in Berlin, one of the world's largest independent institutions dedicated to archiving and exhibiting queer history and visual cultures.
Heiner Schulze studied social sciences and works in Berlin. Schulze is a member of the board of the Gay Museum and is interested in issues of social inequality as well as inclusive society and the culture of remembrance. The latter with a focus on queer history, East Germany and HIV/Aids.
The event itself is free of charge, but you will need an exhibition ticket (9/6€).