Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism
Exhibition extended through July 1.
Opening reception: Saturday, March 17, 5-9pm
Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism examines thirty years of inspiring and defiant safer sex and harm reduction activism. The exhibition presents safer sex posters, comics, brochures, videos, PSAs, and safer sex and clean needle kits, among other archival items, all from the collections at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries.
While at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s widespread public perception linked AIDS to gay men and intravenous drug users, Lost & Found reveals how activists sought to educate and empower varying publics about the pervasive epidemic. Utilizing novel and accessible forms, safer sex activists disseminated information across cultural, economic, linguistic, and class divisions. Rather than stigmatize sexuality, these educational projects often went hand-in-hand with sex positive practices. While the majority of materials were produced in the 1980s and 1990s, the exhibition connects these histories to the ongoing AIDS crisis through contemporary artists and activist projects.
Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism is co-curated by David Evans Frantz, curator at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, and independent curator Hannah Grossman, with support from exhibition consultant Neal Baer, M.D. Lost & Found is organized by the ONE Archives Foundation, Inc. Generous support is provided by the Herb Ritts Foundation, The Calamus Foundation of New York, Inc., and the City of West Hollywood.
Image: (top) Installation view of Lost & Found: Safer Sex Activism, March 17–June 24, 2018 at the ONE Gallery, West Hollywood. Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber