Skip to main content
Menu Close
A
platform
for
contemporary
art

18 September 1992 —
18 October 1992

Implicated and Immune:
Artists’ responses to AIDS

Implicated and Immune, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Philip Kelly, Timeline, 1992 (installation view). Mixed media site specific installation. 7000mm x 1500mm.
Philip Kelly, Timeline, 1992 (installation view). Mixed media site specific installation. 7000mm x 1500mm.
Philip Kelly, Timeline, 1992 (installation view). Mixed media site specific installation. 7000mm x 1500mm.
Philip Kelly, Timeline, 1992 (detail). Mixed media site specific installation. 7000mm x 1500mm. Collection of the artist. In association with Wellington Media Collective
Implicated and Immune, Studio Gallery, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, Studio Gallery, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, Studio Gallery, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, Studio Gallery, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Implicated and Immune, Studio Gallery, 1992 (installation view). Curated by Louis Johnston
Fear Brampton, Sojourn, 1992 (installation view). Mixed media installation. 1220mm x 1520mm. Collection of the artist
Fear Brampton, Sojourn, 1992 (detail). Mixed media installation. 1220mm x 1520mm. Collection of the artist
Fear Brampton, Sojourn, 1992 (detail). Mixed media installation. 1220mm x 1520mm. Collection of the artist
Fear Brampton, Sojourn, 1992 (detail). Mixed media installation. 1220mm x 1520mm. Collection of the artist
Richard Killeen, Burial Mound, 1992 (installation view). Acrylic and collage on aluminium, 120 pieces. 2700mm x 3200mm approx. Collection of the artist
Richard Killeen, Burial Mound, 1992 (detail). Acrylic and collage on aluminium, 120 pieces. 2700mm x 3200mm approx. Collection of the artist
Richard Killeen, Burial Mound, 1992 (detail). Acrylic and collage on aluminium, 120 pieces. 2700mm x 3200mm approx. Collection of the artist
Richard McWhannell, This man shriven, 1989. Oil on canvas. 335mm x 670mm (irregular). Private collection, Auckland
Paul Rayner, Cactus Head (left) and Cactus Heart (right), 1992 (installation view). Acrylic on hessian on board. 560mm x 460mm. Courtesy of Aberhart North Gallery, Auckland
Malcolm Harrison, HYGIENICALLY SEALED / LETTING THE SPIRIT GO, 1992 (installation detail). Gouache and collage on paper, 84 pieces. Collection of the artist
Malcolm Harrison, HYGIENICALLY SEALED / LETTING THE SPIRIT GO, 1992 (installation view). Gouache and collage on paper, 84 pieces. Collection of the artist
Malcolm Harrison, HYGIENICALLY SEALED / LETTING THE SPIRIT GO, 1992 (installation view). Gouache and collage on paper, 84 pieces. Collection of the artist
Malcolm Harrison, HYGIENICALLY SEALED / LETTING THE SPIRIT GO, 1992 (detail). Gouache and collage on paper, 84 pieces. Collection of the artist
Malcolm Harrison, HYGIENICALLY SEALED / LETTING THE SPIRIT GO, 1992 (detail). Gouache and collage on paper, 84 pieces. Collection of the artist
Lily Lai
Lily Lai
Lillian Budd, Aids Bag, 1990. Photocopied text, epoxy resin on hand bag. 230mm x 270mm x 50mm. Courtesy of Budd Archive, Cubewell House, Wellington, and Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland
Lesley Kaiser & John Barnett, Blind acts of faith / Blind axe of fate, 1992. Mixed media. 495mm x 560mm. Collection of the artists
Lesley Kaiser & John Barnett, Blind acts of faith / Blind axe of fate, 1992. LED sign. Collection of the artists
John Reynolds, The Cause of the Movement of the Heart, 1992 (installation view). Mixed media on paper. 2000mm x 2720mm. Collection of the artist
John Reynolds, The Cause of the Movement of the Heart, 1992 (detail). Mixed media on paper. 2000mm x 2720mm. Collection of the artist
Jane Zusters, Don
Jane Zusters, Don
Jack Body, Figures in darkness, 1992 (installation view). Cibachrome photographs, series of seven. 405mm x 305mm each. Collection of the artist
Jack Body, Figure in darkness, 1992 (detail). Cibachrome photographs, series of seven. 405mm x 305mm each. Collection of the artist
Fiona Pardington, Relâche, 1992 (detail). Sepia and selenium toned photograph in lead frame, 405mm x 508mm (image), 655mm x 755mm (overall). Collection of the artist
Steve Lovett, Wish you were here, 1989 (installation view). Acrylic on paper collage. 590mm x 820mm (irregular). Collection of the artist
Richard Wearn, Touch, 1992 (installation view). Chrome plated wood. 120mm diameter x 1650mm. Collection of the artist. Photo by Lennid Taku
Memorial Quilt (detail)
Memorial Quilt (detail)
Implicated and Immune, Film programme, 1992 (installation view).
Implicated and Immune: Artists

/

‘In 1981 the aids epidemic burst into our newspapers and our consciousness as the ‘mystery killer disease’. Eleven years later it continues to evoke powerful fears, suspicion and, often, anger.’
– Warren Lindberg, Director New Zealand Aids Foundation

While it has been quite common for galleries to seek artistic interpretations of HIV/AIDS overseas, there has been a virtual absence of exhibitions in Aotearoa New Zealand that have sought contributions by artists on this issue. Implicated and Immune: Artists’ responses to AIDS occurs at a time when, more than ever, artists and audiences need to be involved in one of the greatest crises ever known.

Aids is not just a sexually transmitted disease that has no known cure. Rather it is an epidemic, a movement, a friend’s death. How an individual comes to understand the effect of aids is through a variety of information, images and interpretations. For many people it has come to mean fear, anger, suspicion and confusion. While there may be criticism of government or health agencies to respond to the impact of aids, there has been little involvement by artists and writers to articulate the signs of the disease, as it spreads into our collective subconscious.

Unlike dominant museum practice which consciously segregates and defines particular audiences for a particular cultural or promotion event, no specific audience has been defined for this exhibition. The underlying condition of Implicated and Immune is to provide the circumstances for artistic discourse to occur. There was no intention to develop a single voice to represent any single interest group – one audience will implicitly learn and share from another. Through a series of informal discussions, the Gallery brought together aids agencies and the participating artists. The crossovers and discussions that resulted were beneficial; articulating feelings and fears and a consensus for action.

The words ‘implicated’ and ‘immune’ belong to the language of the dominant majority, commandeering a discursive space around aids. This sets up an exclusionary barrier between those that are apparently safe – the immune – and the other – those implicated by aids. By asking artists to interpret the mythologies surroundings AIDS it is hoped that a better understanding will be created. Douglas Crimp’s remark remains the most pertinent conclusion that ‘art does have the power to save lives, and it is this very power that must be recognised, fostered, and supported in every way possible. But if we don’t do this, we will have to abandon the idealist conception of art. We don’t need a cultural renaissance; we need cultural practices actively participating in the struggle against aids. We don’t need to transcend the epidemic; we need to end it.’ [1]

[1] Douglas Crimp, ‘Aids: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism’, October 43: 7.

Events

An example of a Names Project Quilt recently exhibited in the Aotea Centre on display at the Pakuranga Plaza, 21- 23 September 1992. These are quilts that have been made as memorials to commemorate those people who have died of AIDS.

A panel discussion on ‘Censorship and the Arts’ held on 15 October 1992, including Carole Shepherd (Tutor, Elam School of Fine Arts), Arthur Everard (former Chief Film Censor), Fiona Clarke (artist), Ron Left (Artists Alliance), Steve Lovett (artist), Shane Broomhall (AIDS activist), Athina Tsoulis (writer and director of short films) and Louis Johnston (Curator, Fisher Gallery).

A series of painting workshops taken by Jonathan Else held on 3 October, ‘Draw Yourself: Self portrait for self esteem’, and 4 October, ‘Your Body – Your Life’.

Publication

Implicated and Immune: Artists’ responses to AIDS, 1992

Ephemera

Press release – Implicated and Immune: Artists’ responses to AIDS, 1992
News & exhibition calendar – Fisher Gallery & Pakuranga Arts Society, Spring 1992
Censorship and the Arts – Panel poster
Draw yourself – Workshop poster
The Quilt Project – brochure

Press

AIDS Quilt Tours New Zealand, 1991 – Network
Probe into impact of AIDS, 1992 – Sunday Star
Challenging Exhibition, 1992 – Auckland Tourist Times
Implicated and Immune: artists focus on AIDS, 1992 – Man to Man
Artists in aid mission, 2015 – Stuff
A Gentle Communion: Considering 'Sleeping Arrangements', 2018 – The Pantograph Punch
To queer or not to queer: What can galleries do to address homophobia?, 2020 – The Spinoff

Further

Implicated and Immune, 2015 – Michael Lett
Sleeping Arrangements, 2018 – The Dowse