Culture Wars
"The self-proclaimed, self-anointed art experts would scoff and say, ‘Oooh, terrible,’ but I like beautiful things, not modern art. I can’t even figure out that sculpture in the Hart Building."
- Senator Jese Helms
Exam 1 must be submitted on Blackboard
by 11:59 PM tonight!
Alexander Calder, Mountains and Clouds, 1986.












1957 born in Guaimaro, Cuba, the third of what would eventually be four children 1964 Dad bought me a set of watercolors and gave me my first cat 1971 sent to Spain with my sister Gloria, then went to Puerto Rico to live with my uncle 1979 returned to Cuba to see my parents after an eight-year separation 1981 parents escaped Cuba during Mariel boat lift, my brother Mario and sister Mayda escaped with them 1978 met Jeff in Puerto Rico 1976 Gloria and I moved to our own apartment-small, but full of sunlight 1977 Rosa 1976 met my friend Mario 1979 moved to New York City 1980 met Luis at the beach 1983 received BFA from Pratt Institute 1981 and 1983 attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program 1987 received MFA from the International Center of Photography and New York University 1983 Ross at the Boybar 1985 Jeff gave me Pebbles and Biko, two Lilac Point Siamese cats-hardly able to support myself, and now with two cats to feed, only Jeff 1985 first trip to Europe, first summer with Ross 1986 summer in Venice, studied Venetian painting and architecture 1986 blue kitchen, blue flowers in Toronto - a real home for the first time in so long, so long, Ross is here 1987 Wawanaisa Lake: beavers, wild brown bears, Harry retrieved every buoy he sees, New York Times every morning, duck cabin 1986 Mother died of leukemia 1990 Myriam died 1991 Ross died of AIDS, Dad died three weeks later, a hundred small yellow envelopes of my lover's ashes-his last will 1991 Jorge stopped talking to me, I'm lost - Claudio and Miami Beach saved me 1992 Jeff died of AIDS 1990 silver ocean in San Francisco 1992 President Clinton - hope, twelve years of trickle-down economics came to an end 1990 moved to L.A. with Ross (already very sick), Harry the Dog, Biko, and Pebbles, the Ravenswood, Rossmore, golden hour, Ann and Chris by the pool, magic hour, rented a red car, money for the first time, no more waiting on tables, 'Golden Girls', great students at CalArts, Millie and Catherine, went back to Madrid after almost twenty years-sweet revenge 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall 1991 Bruno and Mary, two black cats Ross found in Toronto, came to live with me 1991 the world I knew is gone, moved the four cats, books, and a few things to a new apartment 1991 went back to L.A., hospitalized for 10 days 1990 first show with Andrea Rosen 1993 moved to 24th Street 1987 joined Group Material 1991 Julie moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan 1992 the forces of hate and ignorance are alive and well in Oregon and Colorado, among other places 1993 Sam Nunn is such a sissy, peace might be possible in the Middle East 1992 started to collect George Nelson clocks and furniture 1993 three years since Ross died, painted kitchen floor bright orange, this book
Felix Gonzales-Torres, Untitled, 1989.











Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Clockwise from top left: Untitled (Death By Gun) 1990,
Untitled (Aparicion) 1991, Untitled (The End), 1990, Untitled (Republican Years) 1992.











Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Republican Years), 1992.











Viewer takes home Untitled (Death by Gun), 1990.











Piss Christ

Andres Serrano, Piss Christ, 1987.











Transcripts of Senate debate on Piss Christ photo
Editorial on the work's recent destruction
Piss Christ destroyed after being hammered and stabbed with a screwdriver in 2011











Andres Serrano explains:
"As a former Catholic, and as someone who even today is not opposed to being called a Christian, I felt I had every right to use the symbols of the Church and resented being told not to."
"I have always felt that my work is religious, not sacrilegious."
"I think if the Vatican is smart, someday they'll collect my work."
Sister Wendy on Serrano's Piss Christ
Andres Serrano, Madonna and Child, 1989.











Historic Context
1965 National Endowment for the Arts created, $2.4 million budget
1978 Assassination of first openly gay elected official, SF Supervisor, Harvey Milk along side Mayor, George Muscone
1981 AIDS first reported in popular press
1985 More than 1,000 San Franciscans have died of AIDS
Rock Hudson dies of AIDS
1986 William F. Buckley, in a March 18, 1986, New York Times opinion article, called for mandatory testing for HIV and said that HIV-positive gay men should have this information forcibly tattooed on their buttocks (and IV-drug users on their arms)
1987 "Black Monday" stock market crash
AIDS Memorial Quilt project begun by SF Gay Rights Leaders
President Reagan first uses term "AIDS" in public
Robert Mapplethorpe,
American Flag, 1987.
71,176 diagnosed with AIDS and 41,027 of those dead
1988 Perfect Moment exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia
1989 Berlin Wall torn down
Perfect Moment exhibition at the Museum of Contemprary Art, Chicago
Perfect Moment exhibition canceled two weeks before opening at Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C.
Senate debate against NEA support of Perfect Moment
Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS
1990 Perfect Moment exhibition at the University Art Museum, UC Berkeley
Germany reunited
Nelson Mandela released from prison
Keith Haring, Freddie Mercury, Craig Owens and Halston die of AIDS
Perfect Moment exhibition at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts
Dennis Barrie acquited of charges of pandering and obscenity related to Perfect Moment exhibition
1991 USSR desolved and Boris Yeltsin becomes Russian President
AIDS Ribbon campaign begun in conjunction with World AIDS Day
Magic Johnson publicly announces he is HIV positive
Isaac Asimov dies of AIDS
1992 David Wojnarowicz dies of AIDS
1994 Advent of the World Wide Web
Official end of white rule in South Africa
Elizabeth Glaser dies of AIDS
1997 Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of Britain, ending 18 years of Conservative rule
"Dollie" the sheep cloned in UK
1996 Felix Gonzalez-Torres dies of AIDS











ACT-UP Action at St. Patrick's Cathedral, NY, 1989.











Barbara Kruger, Man's Best Friend, 1987.

Barbara Kruger, Your body is a battleground, 1989.












Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face), 1981.











Guerrilla Girls, Want to Earn Big Money in the Art World? 1985.


Equal Pay Day, April 4, 2017











Yoko Ono with Frida Kahlo and Kathe Kollwitz










Guerrilla Girls, When Racism and Sexism are No Longer Fashionable, 1989.





















Guerrilla Girls, Do Women Have to Be Naked? 1989.











Guerrilla Girls, Do Women Have to Be Naked? 2005.













(En)Gendered (In)Equity: The Gallery Tally Poster Project at LACE