top of page

AIDS/ART/WORK Speaker Biographies


Robert Atkins
Robert Atkins is a University of California/Berkeley-trained art historian and writer, lecturer and curator, new media producer and activist. He has written for more than 100 publications throughout the world ranging from the New York Times and Newsday to Japanese Wired and Esquire, and contributes regularly to Art in America. He is a former staff columnist for The Village Voice, and is the co-author of Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (The New Press, 2006). His other books include ArtSpeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present (2nd ed., 1997); its companion volume ArtSpoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movements, and Buzzwords, 1848-1944 (1993); and From Media to Metaphor: Art About AIDS (Independent Curators Inc., 1991), the catalogue for the accompanying exhibition of the same name. He is currently at work on an anthology of his writing and a book titled Thanks for Sharing! A Resource Book About Collaboration in the Visual Arts & Beyond.


Robert teaches (most recently as the Roman J. Witt Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan) and lectures widely about contemporary art and culture, new media and technology. These interests have catalyzed more than two dozen exhibitions at far-flung venues including Between Science and Fiction (which he organized for the Sao Paulo Bienal, 1985) and Fusion! Artists in a Research Setting (for Carnegie Mellon University, 2001), as well as the creation of pioneering websites such as the City University of New York-sponsored TalkBack! A Forum for Critical Discourse (originated 1995) and Artery: The AIDS-Arts Forum (1999). He was also arts editor of The Media Channel, vice-president/editor-in-chief of Arts Technology Entertainment Network (a New York Times Video start-up company), and is an associate (fellow) of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.


Robert is a co-founder of Visual AIDS, the organization which created Day Without Art and the Red Ribbon, as well as 911 -- The September 11 Project: Cultural Intervention in Civic Society. He is a former board member of the American branch of the International Art Critics' Association (AICA) and the recipient of awards for arts criticism and cultural commentary from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Penny McCall Foundation, among many others.


Julia Bryan-Wilson
Julia Bryan-Wilson is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History and the Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the intersection of art and politics since the 1960s; she has published on topics such as the visual culture of the nuclear age, the impact of AIDS on contemporary art, and the professionalization of institutional critique. She is a regular contributor to Artforum, and has also published in Art Bulletin, Art US, Art Journal, Camera Obscura, Frieze, Modern Painters, and Oxford Art Journal, among others. In her first position at the Rhode Island School of Design, Julia became the youngest ever awardee of the John Frazier Award for Excellence in teaching, and in 2007 became an inaugural winner of the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. With Barbara Hunt, she co-edited the exhibition catalogue Bodies of Resistance, published by Visual AIDS in 1999. Her book Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, will be published by the University of California Press in 2009.


Jean Carlomusto
Jean Carlomusto has written, produced and directed independent documentaries, narrative films and -- more recently -- interactive installations for over 20 years. Her work has garnered acclaim both nationally and internationally in film festivals, museum exhibitions, and on television. In 1987, Jean founded the Media Production Unit at Gay Men's Health Crisis and has created numerous videotapes about HIV/AIDS in the years since. She was a member of the Testing the Limits AIDS Video Collective and the DIVA TV affinity group of ACT UP. In 2001 she co-curated an interactive AIDS exhibit entitled AIDS: A Living Archive, which ran at the Museum of the City of New York. Her current interactive installation, Offerings, is part of the Make Art/Stop AIDS traveling exhibition. Jean holds an MPA in Interactive Communications from the Tisch School of the Arts, and she is a professor of Media Arts at Long Island.


David Gere
Associate Professor David Gere is director of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, an international network of artists intervening in the AIDS epidemic. He also serves as director of the Art|Global Health Center at UCLA and is co-chair in the Department of World Arts and Cultures, where he teaches courses on AIDS and arts activism. Prior to his affiliation with UCLA, he worked as an arts critic in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily for the Oakland Tribune, while contributing to the East Bay Express, San Francisco Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. In the early 1980s, David studied music, dance, and Tamil in Madurai, Tamilnadu, and in 2004, supported by a Fulbright grant, he lived in Bangalore, India, studying the ways in which artists in the sub-continent are working to stop the AIDS epidemic. From 1992-1995, he served as co-chair of the international Dance Critics Association. David's essays have appeared in the new edition of Barton Mumaw's, Dancer (Wesleyan University Press, 2000), Edmund White's Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS (University of Wisconsin Press, 2001), and Jane Desmond's Dancing Desire (University of Wisconsin Press, 2001). He is a co-editor of Looking Out: Perspectives on Dance and Criticism in a Multicultural World (Schirmer, 1995) and Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader (Wesleyan UP, 2003). His most recent book, How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004), received the award for outstanding book publication from the Congress on Research in Dance. The book was also nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and received a special citation from the Society of Dance History Scholars and the De la Torre Bueno Prize. David curated Make Art/Stop AIDS at the Fowler Gallery in Los Angeles, the most recent 'AIDS art' exhibition to be held in the United States. The exhibition will travel to Mexico for the International AIDS Conference in August 2009.


Patrick 'Pato' Hebert
Pato Hebert is an artist, educator and cultural worker based in Los Angeles. He currently serves as the Associate Director of Education at AIDS Project Los Angeles, where he develops public art projects and community-based publications such as Corpus. He also teaches in the Photography and Imaging Department at Art Center College of Design. Pato's work has received support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the California Arts Council and the Creative Work Fund, and will be featured in the 2008 California Biennial.


Jim Hubbard
Jim Hubbard has been making films since 1974. He is currently working on United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a feature length documentary on the AIDS activist group. Among his 19 other films are Elegy in the Streets (1989), Two Marches (1991), The Dance (1992) and Memento Mori (1995). His films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Berlin Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Torino and many other Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals. His film Memento Mori won the Ursula Prize for Best Short Film at the Hamburg Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 1995. He co-founded MIX: the New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival; and under the auspices of the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS he created the AIDS Activist Video Collection at the New York Public Library. Jim curated the 8-program series Fever in the Archive: AIDS Activist Videotapes from the Royal S. Marks Collection for the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2000. He also co-curated Another Wave: Recent Global Queer Cinema at New York's Museum of Modern Art in July and September 2006.


Derek Jackson
Derek Jackson is an artist based in Portland, Maine. He works with natural and available light portraiture to address issues of queer desire, HIV/AIDS and representation. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions at venues such as the Bronx Museum, CRG Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Hyde Park Art Center and Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. Derek is a recipient of awards from the Maine Arts Commission, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and Momenta Arts, among others. He is a graduate of the Experimental Theater Wing at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as well as the City University of New York at Brooklyn College.


Alexandra Juhasz
Alexandra Juhasz is Professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. As a Director/Producer Alex has made over fifteen documentaries on feminist and lesbian issues ranging from AIDS to teen pregnancy, including the features Video Remains (2005), Dear Gabe (2002) and Women of Vision (1998), as well as producing the acclaimed narrative feature, The Watermelon Woman (1996). Her work has screened at the Sundance and Toronto International Film Festivals; and women's, and gay and lesbian film festivals around the world. Alex's critical writings have appeared in a variety of academic and mainstream publications. Her books include AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Media (Duke University Press, 1996); Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); and, with co-editor Jesse Lerner, F is for Phony: Fake Documentaries and Truth's Undoing (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).


Marilyn Martin
Marilyn Martin is the Director of Art Collections at Iziko Museums of Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at Iziko Museums in 2001, Marilyn served as the Director of the South African National Gallery for eleven years. In both capacities she has been crucial in raising awareness about the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and in acquiring important AIDS-related work by South African artists for the nation's art collection. Marilyn has curated exhibitions that originated in, or traveled to, South Africa, Mali, Denmark, France, Brazil, the United States and the Canary Islands. She has contributed essays to fourteen books about art, and co-authored Picasso and Africa (SANG, 2006). Before beginning her career in the museum sector, Marilyn was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 2002 she was admitted to the French Legion of Honour, at the rank of Officer.


Ivan Monforte
Ivan Monforte is a Mexican born artist who became a citizen of the United States in 2000. He has addressed the theme of HIV/AIDS in numerous, often public or site-specific, works. He is the recipient of a UCLA Arts Council Award, a fellowship from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a Lambent Fellowship in the Arts from the Tides Foundation. His work has been exhibited at Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, Queens Museum of Art, Artists Space, and the Elizabeth Foundation. Ivan is currently an Artist in Residence at the Center for Book Arts in New York City.


Edwin Ramoran
Edwin Ramoran is the Director of Exhibitions and Programs at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art. He is currently working on a major group exhibition titled The B Sides that will focus on house music culture and contemporary art. He is also developing the group exhibition Me Love You Long Time on Asian and Pacific Islander sexuality and gender expression. In 2007, Edwin received the Apexart Outbound Residency to Greece. From 2002-2007, he was director and curator for Longwood Arts Project, the contemporary art center of the Bronx Council on the Arts, where he curated a number of exhibitions featuring AIDS-related works. At Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Edwin curated: Do You Think I'm Disco; Post Plátano / Ante Formalism: Abstraction in the Bronx; BX1: The First Bronx Artist Biennial; Michael Rakowitz: RETURN; Rehearsed: Nicolás Dumit Estévez; DL: The "Down Low" in Contemporary Art; and No More Drama: New Projects after Novelas. Previously, he was Assistant Curator at The Bronx Museum of the Arts where he worked from 1994 to 2002. At the Bronx Museum, he coordinated major exhibitions, co-curated the annual exhibition for the Artist in the Marketplace program, and organized exhibitions for the contemporary art series Critical Points and the Collaborative Art Projects program. He has also been a guest curator in New York at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas; PERFROMA 05 at Artists Space; Center for Book Arts; Dieu Donné Papermill and Gallery; Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center; South Asian Women's Creative Collective; and Visual AIDS. Edwin received a BA in Art History with minors in Ethnic Studies and Journalism from the University of California, Riverside, and is currently an MA candidate in Art History at Hunter College.


David Román
David Román is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Southern California. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. Before joining the USC faculty in 1995, he taught at Yale University and the University of Washington. David is the author of Performance in America: Contemporary US Culture and the Performing Arts (Duke University Press, 2005), and Acts of Intervention: Performance Gay Culture & AIDS (Indiana University Press, 1998), which won the ATHE award for 'Best Book in Theatre Studies' in 1999. With Holly Hughes, he is co-editor of O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance (Grove Press, 1998), which won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award for Drama, and co-editor with Richard Meyer of Art Works: A special double-issue of GLQ (2006). From 1999-2003, he served as editor of Theatre Journal, the premiere journal for theatre studies. David is currently at work on two book projects. The first is a study of race and national identity in 1940s American theatre, and the second is a study of the role of dance in pre-Stonewall gay life and culture.


Richard Sawdon Smith
Richard Sawdon Smith is Deputy Head of College at the University College for the Creative Arts, in Maidstone, England. Richard has been making photographs that explore issues of living with HIV/AIDS for the last 15 years, and he won the prestigious John Kobal Portrait Award in 1997 for a photograph of a man living with HIV/AIDS. Richard is co-editor of Langford's Basic Photography 8th Edition (2007), and his photographs and articles have been published in a variety of books including: Cultures of Exile (2004), Pandemic: Facing AIDS (2003), and Gabriele Griffin's Representations of HIV and AIDS: Visibility Blue/s (2000). Richard's photographic work has been exhibited widely including: MACBA (2002), the international 'Pandemic: Imaging AIDS' traveling exhibition, the National Portrait Gallery London, Palais de Tokyo, and the 'One Vision -- Images of HIV/AIDS' exhibition in Paris, France. Most recently, Richard had a solo exhibition titled 'Art Pos(t)er / AIDS Pos(t)er', in Belgrade, Serbia.


Paul Sendziuk
Dr Paul Sendziuk is an Associate Professor in the School of History and Politics at the University of Adelaide. He specialises in twentieth-century Australian History, with particular interests in post-war immigration, public health and the history of disease. Paul's most recent book is Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS, which was short-listed for the 2004 Human Rights Award (bestowed by Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission). His most recent articles have appeared in international journals and magazines such as Dissent, Health and History, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, and Australian Studies. In collaboration with Visual AIDS, Paul is currently working on a project titled 'The Art of AIDS Prevention: Cultural Responses to HIV/AIDS in Australia, South Africa and the United States'. He is also responsible for the project's website:


Follow these links:


Biographies of the speakers


Photographs from AIDS/ART/WORK


Listen to the papers that were presented (available shortly)


bottom of page