Ecstatic Antibodies: Challenging the AIDS Mythology

  March –
April 1993

Images from the Ecstatic Antibodies exhibition at the Gallery of Photography March 9 to April 2 1993

This exhibition arose from a decision by the Photography Group at the London Lesbian and Gay Centre to challenge artists to explore the implications of the AIDS crisis in ways not restricted to the criteria defined by the media/medical model.

The political response to the AIDS epidemic has been to pretend it is a “plague” largely confined to gay men and intravenous drug users. Doctor’s reduce the gay lifestyle to ‘penetrative sex’ and ‘the exchange of bodily fluids’. Death and depravity are now inextricably linked in the public mind with male homosexuality. At the same time ,women, especially lesbians, have been dismissed from the whole focus of AIDS education, unless they are part of the drugs and prostitution ‘underworld’.

The affirmation of Ecstatic Antibodies is that art is not a powerless commentator, nor a commodity that can be sold for good cause. This show proposes that art can actively intervene in the political process, and can help shape the way in which the representation of AIDS is developed in the future.

An open debate on The Politics of Representation, will be held in the Gallery at 7:30pm on Thursday 11 March.