Northwestern Events Calendar


Keep the Shadow, Ere the Substance Fade: Mourning during the AIDS Crisis

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When: Sunday, October 23, 2016
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Block Museum of Art, Mary and Leigh, 40 Arts Circle Drive , Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and Open to the public

Contact: Lindsay Bosch  

Group: Block Museum Exhibitions

Category: Fine Arts


During much of the 20th century, death was a private and comparatively silent event. However, during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 90s, a politicized resurgence of highly visible and public acts of mourning emphasized the body ravaged by the virus. In some ways, these practices paralleled the public and material mourning practices of the nineteenth century. By juxtaposing objects and artworks related to mourning from the Victorian Era—intricately woven hairworks and ornate brooches kept as bodily relics of the deceased—and during the AIDS crisis, Keep the Shadow examines two analogous cultures of bereavement. The exhibition proposes that these historical periods uniquely relied on the materiality of the individual body, and items associated with it, as relics in order to grapple with mortality and persevere in the face of death. Curated by 2015-16 Block Museum Graduate Fellow, C.C. McKee.

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