Jonathan David Katz: How AIDS Changed American Art

November 26, 2015

A lecture by Jonathan David Katz, PhD, on the exhibition ART/AIDS/AMERICA at the Tacoma Art Museum until Jan 10, 2016. Generally considered merely a tragic tangent to US culture, AIDS has in fact been one of the most powerful shaping forces in American culture since the 1980's. We have repressed AIDS’ role in the making of our culture in keeping with our longstanding, repression of AIDS in general. But repression, as known from psychoanalysis, is the sign of great power. The lecture was followed by a Q&A with Dr. Katz.


Jonathan David Katz

Jonathan David Katz is a pioneering academic and gay activist who works at the intersection of art history and queer history. Widely recognized as a leading authority in queer art history, his work as curator, scholar, and activist has had a profound impact on the understanding of queer art and artists in both academia and the larger world. Katz founded the Harvey Milk Institute, the world’s largest queer studies institute, and serves as president and chief curator of New York City's Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. His recent work includes co-curating “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Art,” an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery that broke ground by focusing on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) issues. Katz directs SUNY Buffalo’s PhD program in visual studies. Katz is currently co-curating ART/AIDS/AMERICA at the Tacoma Art Museum from now until January 10, 2016, and will curate the 2016 Queer Arts Festival visual arts exhibition this coming June.

Co-presented by

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, the Queer Arts Festival, SFU Galleries, School for the Contemporary Arts and Institute for Performance Studies.

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