Free Event

The Center for Ideas and Society presents a book talk with Robb Hernández, Associate Professor of English.

Archiving an Epidemic: Art, AIDS, and the Queer Chicanx Avant-Garde

Emboldened by the boom in art, fashion, music, and retail culture in 1980s Los Angeles, the iconoclasts of queer Aztlán―as Robb Hernández terms the group of artists who emerged from East LA, Orange County, and other parts of Southern California during this period―developed a new vernacular with which to read the city in bloom. Tracing this important but understudied body of work, Archiving an Epidemic catalogs a queer retelling of the Chicana and Chicano art movement, from its origins in the 1960s, to the AIDS crisis and the destruction it wrought in the 1980s, and onto the remnants and legacies of these artists in the current moment. His work excavates this archive to question not what Chicanx art is, but what it could have been.

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  • Jane Ward

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