General Idea Aids Wallpaper Photo John Kennard

via The Boston Globe by Sebastian Smee

Much of the work in this show [“This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston] attempted to counter a rising tide of political conservatism, seeking justice and an extension of freedoms for women, for African-Americans, for Latin Americans living under dictatorships, for gays and lesbians, and for a whole world living in the shadow of AIDS.

The show is divided into four chapters: “Gender Trouble,” “The End Is Near,” “Democracy,” and “Desire and Longing.” That last section includes work about the search not only for sex and love, but for shiny new commodities, a new politics, a world free of AIDS. It’s an amazingly potent room.

Jeff Koons is represented with his stainless steel “Bunny,” one of the decade’s great and defining works. Sophie Calle is here with “The Shadow,” an elaborate fantasy (she hired a private detective — without his knowing that she had hired him — to follow her around Paris) which takes longing and narcissism to weirdly intricate extremes.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres is represented by two clocks, side by side, almost but not quite in synch, called “Perfect Lovers.” Robert Mapplethorpe is here with three of the neoclassical, sexually charged photographs that kicked off the culture wars of the ’80s; and David Wojnarowicz, whose silent film “A Fire in My Belly” recently revived those culture wars, is here, too, with “Untitled (Buffalo),” a devastatingly poignant work. Those last three artists all died of AIDS-related illnesses.

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