LOVE - AIDS
We would like to dedicate our first issue for launching "Adam's Love" website project to the legendary works by Robert Indiana and General Idea. Spreading the idea of positive wording in everyday life, Robert Indiana created the work "LOVE" which become the most popular piece until now. However, the tribute work called "AIDS" by General Idea is our main focus for spreading the idea ofeternal LOVE.
Indiana's iconic work LOVE was first created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964, he is a prominent American artist in pop art movement, using distinctive imagery drawing on commercial art approached blended with the idea of existentialism. So his works often consists of bold, simple, iconic images made in the geometric form, such as in numbers and short words like EAT, HUG, HOPE and best known is LOVE.
Later on, the work LOVE has been referred as a part of a new artwork by General Idea, a collective of three Canadian artists, Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson who were active from 1967 to 1994. They are the pioneer artists of early conceptual and media-based art, their works dealing with media culture, television and everyday life's imagery. One of their most influential works are AIDS related works since two of them are HIV infected and both Partz and Zontal died of AIDS in 1994. Bronson continues to work and exhibit as an independent artist.
"AIDS" was created in 1987 as acrylic on canvas as well as printed poster posted all over Amsterdam from subway to Time Square. They referred the original work by Indiana "LOVE" and change to "AIDS" with the same font and color in order to change the perception of AIDS at that time. By focusing on disseminating information, these artists played a role that government or other public agencies were unwilling to fulfill, and used this strategies to spread the message as far and wide as possible. The relationship of repetition of an image, poster, especially transforming LOVE to AIDS and aiming at spread the love virus and the awareness of this issue. AA Bronson said "We want to make the word AIDS normal. AIDS is sort of playing the part that cancer did in the sixties. By keeping the word visible, it has a normalizing affect that will hopefully play part in normalizing people's relationship to the disease" Since fear, stigma and segregation all take root in the lack of knowledge; in a scramble for the facts about this new virus, panic too often replaced tolerance.
Pilot Light by Lumi Tan, From the Art Exhibition Catalogue of "On the Outside Looking In" organized by ARTAIDS, 2009 - 2011.
AA Bronson quoted in Joshua Decter, "General Idea", Journal of Contemporary Art, Spring Summer 1991, 58