SF AIDS Foundation
Center for Sex and Culture’s Exhibition Catalog of Safer Sex Posters
The Center for Sex and Culture, located in San Francisco, is publishing an art exhibition catalog on our safer sex poster collection in conjunction with an exhibition displaying these posters at our gallery. The 2-month exhibition opens on November 8, 2013.
Buzz Bense, sex activist and graphic designer, donated over 150 unique posters to CSC last year. Bense has collected and produced safer-sex posters aimed at members of the LGBTQ community since the mid-1980s. Circulated at a time when the community was particularly hard-hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, these posters comprise a striking aesthetic collection of graphically innovative design that explicitly visualizes homosexuality, diverse LGBTQ communities and safer-sex activism.
SF AIDS Foundation
Because of the cultural and historical significance of the posters, we are inspired to share these images and their story with people in the Bay Area and beyond. It is easy to forget details of recent history, especially when related to sexual history because it is less likely to be preserved. This project aims to preserve and share some of what might easily be lost. The book will contain over 20 color reproductions of posters, an introduction by CSC’s executive director, Dr. Carol Queen, and an essay by the New York based art historian and curator, Alex Fialho, and an interview between Buzz and Alex about the history of the collection. Alex has spent time in San Francisco and New York researching and interviewing the people who created these posters as activists, artists, community organizers, members of health organizations and independent graphics designers.
The collection consists of posters, primarily from San Francisco, but also encompasses other cities throughout the United States. It also includes international representations from Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Canada. This historical archive presents the visual means through which LGBTQ people passed on life saving information about safer-sex practices during the height of a health epidemic that continues to affect us today.
We are confident the exhibition and book will function as both an art historical survey of the importance of this collection of aesthetically beautiful and functionally informative posters as well as an educational endeavor engaging the LGBTQ community and beyond.
Brothers Network, SF
These posters do more than chart the tragedy of an epidemic, of an outsider community reeling from grief, loss, and the decimation of a blooming culture of sexual liberation. The history of these posters is a story of a fight against stigma, hatred and ignorance; of a community stepping up to take care of its own; of finding a way to extinguish fear and build pride and self-esteem; and of devoted efforts of committed activists to communicate a path to health and survival. -Buzz Bense
Please help FUND this worthy project – the inaugural book of CSC, and one we hope will be the first of many. Kickstarter campaign HERE.
Posted in Activism, AIDS, Collecting, DIY and Maker Culture, GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., History, Men, Photography, San Francisco, Scholarship
Tagged Activism, AIDS, Alex Fialho, Archive, Art, Buzz Bense, Carol Queen, Center for Sex and Culture, Condom, HIV, Photography, Poster, Safe Sex, San Francisco, Sex
Tennessee Williams. Playing at Theater Rhino / Eureka in San Francisco through the 12th of January. Directed by John Fisher. Don’t think we will be able to catch this one, but thought the poster was fairly cheerful. Photography by old pal of this site Kent Taylor.
Posted in GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., iPhone, Literature, Men, Photography, San Francisco
Tagged Gay, Graphic Design, iPhone photography, Playwright, Poster, San Francisco, Tennessee Williams
Jam the Giant Poodle digging on public poster art by Haunted Euth. From and/or for Beware Wolf music video with Hampton Beats. Sight seen on Polk Street in San Francisco. Woof!
Posted in ANIMALS: Human and otherwise..., Comics, Dogs, GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., iPhone, Music, Photography, San Francisco, Signage, Street Art, Grafitti, etc., Video
Tagged Art, Hampton Beats, Haunted Euth, iPhone photography, Jam, Polk Street, Poodle, Poster, San Francisco, Street Art, Video
Nice slab of abs, boy. Not sure you should sleep in the tanning bed, though. Poster circa late 1980s. Seen in Jim’s home gym. More here.
Posted in Bodybuilding/Muscles, GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., iPhone, Jim's Home Gym, Men, Photography, Signage, Sports, Youth
Tagged Gay, Gym, Muscles, Photography, Poster
Sight seen on a wall in Willits, in California’s Mendocino County. Good words for today…or any day. Ho Ho Ho.
Posted in Activism, Art and Artists, iPhone, Mendocino County, Photography, Sexy Holidays, Signage, Street Art, Grafitti, etc.
Tagged Art, Christmas, Consumer Culture, Culture, Design, Mendocino County, Occupy, OWS, Poster, Propaganda, Santa, Shop Local, Street Art, X-mas
My keys. His poster. Just hanging there looking good. iPhone photo.
Posted in Bodybuilding/Muscles, Collecting, Jim's Home Gym, Leather, Subcultures
Tagged Gay, Gym, iPhone, Leather Flag, Photography, Poster, Sexy
Maundy Thursday is the movable feast that commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ. Folsom Street Events is well known for its controversial posters – among other things. They topped themselves in 2007 with their depiction of a Last Supper attended entirely by perverts. Leathermen, queens, doggie-boys and bootblacks. A scandal ensued, natch. The Catholic League in particular was perturbed. No link to them: don’t need those particular pingbacks! For surprisingly sexy Palm Sunday processionals, click here.
Posted in Drag, History, Leather, Photography, San Francisco, Sexy Holidays, Spirituality, Subcultures
Tagged Art, BDSM, Culture, Folsom, Gay, History, Last Supper, Leather, Maundy Thursday, Photography, Poster, San Francisco, Sexy