Category Archives: AIDS Books

The ICI Library has a shelf dedicated to books on or about AIDS. Some titles are iconic such as Susan Sontag’s AIDS and its Metaphors or Doug Crimp’s Melancholia and Moralism; others are by individuals who turned their HIV+ diagnosis into powerful statements about art and society such as David Wojnarowicz’s Close to the Knives. Sadly, the effects of HIV and AIDS extends to many other shelves in the ICI Library in the grim statistic of loss. So many, too many, of the artist monographs in our collection catalog the work of artists who died of AIDS: Felix Gonzalez Torres, Paul Thek, Robert Mapplethorpe. On our ‘fiction’ shelf there are books by Bruce Chatwin, Herve Guibert, Isaac Asimov, writers of such diverging interests, all victims of AIDS. These books are not relegated to a single shelf but remain sprinkled through our other documents of culture in an attempt to remember each author’s contribution to society and not just their loss to us, even though their absence is always palpable in a library whose main focus is the arts. In a small cubby, as yet untitled, a slight book by Derek Jarman captures this sentiment in its final refrain: “I place a delphinium, Blue, upon your grave.”

LIBRARY SHELF: Muses from Chaos and Ash

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Vaucher, Andrea R. Muses from Chaos and Ash: AIDS, Artists, and Art (1993) ICI Shelf: AIDS First Line: “I was driving up to Woodstock to visit my friend Kenny O’Brien.” Last Line: “In a way it’s really liberating.” ICI History: First … Continue reading

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LIBRARY SHELF: A Leap In the Dark

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Klusacek, Allan and Morrison, Ken A Leap in the Dark (1992) FIRST LINE: “AIDS is a focal point for many of the social ills that plague modern society…” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at the ICI-Twitter Feed (11-23-11)  

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LIBRARY SHELF: The Plague

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Camus, Albert The Plague (1948) LAST LINE: “…for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at the … Continue reading

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LIBRARY SHELF: Close to the Knives

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Wojnarowicz, David Close to the Knives: A memoir of Disintegration (1991) LAST LINE: “Smell the flowers while you can.” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at the ICI-Twitter Feed (11-18-11)  

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LIBRARY SHELF: Tangled Memories

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Sturken, Marita Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (1997) FIRST LINE: “Memory is often embodied in objects, memorials, texts, talismans, images” LAST LINE: “They stand at the juncture of memory and history, tugging … Continue reading

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LIBRARY SHELF: AIDS Demographics

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Crimp, Douglas and Rolston, Adam AIDS Demographics (1990) First Line: “This book is intended as a demonstration, in both senses of the word.” Last Line: “Now we must teach him, and Woody Myers, that they owe us much more.” ICI … Continue reading

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LIBRARY SHELF: To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life

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Guilbert, Herve To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life (1990) LAST LINE: “At last my arms and legs are once again as slender as they were when I was a child.” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at … Continue reading

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LIBRARY SHELF: Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors

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Sontag, Susan Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors (1990) FIRST LINE: “Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship.” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at the ICI-Twitter Feed (11-06-11)  

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LIBRARY SHELF: Fluid Exchanges

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Miller, James Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis (1992) FIRST LINE: “What do the ‘picture of health’ and the ‘picture of sickness’ look like?” ICI SHELF: AIDS ICI HISTORY: Today at the ICI-Twitter Feed (11-04-11)  

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