Bon Voyage, Tom: Part 2

The first show that delved deeper into the artistic response to the HIV/AIDs epidemic was Art Aids America held in 2015 at Washington’s Tacoma Art Museum. This show was a highly anticipated event that most critics believe was a long time coming. New York Times art critic Holland Cotter commented “What took museums so long?” in response to the Art Aids America show (Tacoma Art Museum). Art has long been used as a form of expression in hard times for those struggling, and that is no different for those struggling with HIV. While describing the struggle with AIDS and the artistic reaction it inspired Greg Ellis states “People who lived through the epidemic experienced in a lot of ways the same kind of trauma that people experience during war times, and it takes decades for people to be able to address that (Muri).” The purpose of this exhibition was to collectively define AIDS activism and shape the discussion as to what AIDS activism truly is. Visual AIDS, as discussed previously, has an exhibit that plays a huge role in the new show (Visual AIDS). The “VOICE=SURVIVAL” exhibition put an emphasis on the urgency of the disease and the reasons that speaking out giving this disease a voice will help many people live to see another day. The show aims to provide a true representation of the psychological impact aids has had on the world and how it continues to affect people everyday (Muri).