SWEAT on leather, framed under Plexiglas, makes its point at "Make Art/Stop AIDS." One of more than 60 pieces primarily from the U.S., Brazil, India and South Africa on display through June 15 at the Fowler Museum at UCLA exhibition, Daniel Goldstein's "Icarian II, Incline" (1993) features swatches from workout benches used in San Francisco gyms that bear the imprint of men who died of AIDS-related causes.
Curator David Gere hopes artworks such as "Icarian II," on loan from Gere's actor brother Richard, provoke an activist response from visitors. "Sometimes work is accused of having an agenda as if that were a bad thing," he says. "This is a case where we want the art to have an agenda."
"Make Art" objects include Goldstein and John Kapellas' "Medicine Man" (2007), constructed from syringes and nearly 300 empty pill bottles that once contained the artists' antiviral medications. On a more whimsical note, Brazilian artist Adriana Bertini's evening gown "Eva" (2006) consists entirely of red-dyed factory-rejected condoms.
Gere and co-curator Robert Sember, both UCLA professors, incorporated a dash of humor into the exhibition after previewing somber pieces for their students. Gere recalls, "At a certain point they said, 'We can't take any more -- you have to make us laugh.' "
Hugh HartCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun