Artists’ Caucus of Visual AIDS
- Tom Williams
American artists’ convention within the larger AIDS activist organization Visual AIDS. This group is best known for the famous Ribbon Project in 1991 in which artists and activists encouraged people to wear red ribbons to raise consciousness about the AIDS crisis within the broader population. Along with the efforts of such artist–activist groups as Gran Fury and Group Material, Visual AIDS represented an important aspect of the art world’s response to the AIDS crisis during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Artists’ Caucus comprised a diverse and changing group of artists that included Penny Arcade (b 1950), Allen Frame (b 1951), Michael Goff (b 1957), Nan Goldin (b 1953), Paul H-O, Frank Moore (1953–2002), Joe Rudy and Leslie Sharpe.
Visual AIDS was established in New York in 1989 by curators Gary Garrels, William Olander and Thomas Sokolowski and by the art critic Robert Atkins in order to mobilize art world institutions in the fight against AIDS and to increase public awareness of the crisis. Among their early interventions, the most important was the first annual “Day Without Art” in which museums and galleries were encouraged to memorialize AIDS deaths on ...