LOOKING BACK and LOOKING FORWARD: Eight Artists Reflect on Living during the Gay Liberation Movement through HIV/AIDS Activism

With(out) With(in) the very moment, on view April 18 – June 22, 2019

drawing of a cat and a crab on a red ombre background

Ed Aulerich-Sugai: Power in Storage Mask 3, 1989. Watercolor, mixed media on paper, 28 ½ x 27 in. Courtesy of Ed Aulerich-Sugai Collection and Archive.

SAN FRANCISCO -  There were many moments that collectively sparked the gay liberation movement, most notably the Stonewall riots in 1969. Through the late 1960s and the 1980s, activism was a vital part of queer culture prompting visibility, pride, and kinship within the LGBTQ community. The growing HIV/AIDS epidemic spurred another wave of activism in the 1980s and 1990s that called for care and funds to cure the disease that killed many in the community. Curated by artist Margaret Tedesco, the SFAC Galleries’ exhibition, With(out) With(in) the very moment, features artists who lived through these moments, creating works that have and continue to bear witness to the events that have shaped the community.  

Opening Reception – Thursday, April 18, 6 – 8 p.m.

According to Tedesco, “This show attempts to revisit a lineage common among artists in the 1980s who witnessed and embodied the activism and community—and to continue our discourse that effects all of our lives today.”

The exhibition originated out of the work of Ed Aulerich-Sugai, an artist, writer, gardener, and AIDS activist, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1994. His work drew from Japanese mythology and iconography as well as from his work as a gardener at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, pulling these inspirations to create works that spoke about spirituality, disease, strength, and an awareness of our own transience.

With Aulerich-Sugai’s work at its center, With(out) With(in) the very moment also includes work by seven long-time Bay Area artists: Elliot Anderson, Adam J. Ansell, Mark M. Garrett, Cliff Hengst, Nancer LeMoins, Mark Paron, and writer Anton Stuebner. Their work spans painting, sculpture, video, photography, and writing, using various media to tell shared histories and to articulate all that they have witnessed.

In addition to the works by the artists, the exhibition will also feature ALTERNATE ENDINGS, a series of video programs organized by Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art, an annual event held on World AIDS Day where museums and other organizations present programs in response to the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic and remember those who have been lost. SFAC Galleries will be screening all three recent iterations of ALTERNATE ENDINGS, from 2014, 2017, and 2018, which includes videos by My Barbarian, AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), Brontez Purnell, Cheryl Dunye & Ellen Spiro, Kia LaBeija, Lyle Ashton Harris, and many more.

SFAC Galleries Associate Curator Jackie Im notes, “The activism stemming from the Gay Liberation Movement has reverberations that are still felt today. As advancements have been made towards treating HIV and AIDS, it is so important to remember what was happening on the ground during the most devastating years of the epidemic. With(out) With(in) the very moment not only looks back, but also looks at the present and towards the future lineage of this movement.”

Exhibition Details:
With(out) With(in) the very moment
Dates: April 18 – June 22, 2019
Location: SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94610
Curator: Margaret Tedesco
Artists: Elliot Anderson, Adam Ansell, Ed Aulerich-Sugai, Mark Garrett, Cliff Hengst, Nancer Lemoins, Mark Paron, Anton Stuebner, and featuring ALTERNATE ENDINGS, a series of video programs by Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art.

Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 18
Location: SFAC Main Gallery, 401 Van Ness, Suite 126, San Francisco, CA 94610
Tickets: No tickets. No RSVP. Free and open to the public

Public Program Series: Read My Lips…Again

Wednesday, May 1, 6:30 p.m.
Reading with Anton Stuebner followed by a screening of Michael Wallin’s Black Sheep Boy (1995)

Wednesday, May 29, 6:30 p.m.
Reading and conversation with Robert Glück, Alla Efimova, and Daniel Ostrow

Thursday, June 13, 6:30 p.m.
Screening of Criminal Queers (2013) followed by a Q&A with director Eric Stanley

All public programs will take place at the SFAC Main Gallery and are free and open to the public.

Other Online Resources

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

April 17
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

December 18
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

December 09
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online
Public Meeting

Full Arts Commission Meeting

May 06
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hybrid: City Hall | Rm 416 and Online