Feb. 9th 2010
AIDS is not only a disease but a social issue that only recent generations and generations to come have to deal with. The first reported case of AIDS was on June 5th, 1981 among 5 male homosexuals in Los Angeles. Not having being called AIDS at first, the acronym, GRID, which stood for “Gay-related Immune deficiency”, given by the press, first put the thought into societies minds that AIDS was a homosexual related disease. Then the term “The 4H Disease” was coined representing the known infected communities: Haitians, Homosexuals, Heroin users and Hemophiliacs. Just from the previous two names stated that were given to this disease shows how stereotypes were being formed around AIDS and the people that are infected with it. If you had AIDS it was because you were either a low-life drug user, or a gay, unsafe sexual partner. Nicholas Nixon’s 1988 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York entitled “Pictures of People” is a work-in-progress which included a series of photos of people with AIDS (PWA’s). According to Nixon and his wife the photographs purpose is “to tell the story of AIDS: to show what the disease truly is, how it affects those who have it, their lovers, families and friends and that it is both the most devastating and most important social and medical issue of our time”. Nixon uses a camera that requires a tripod to use, the photographs are close ups and they follow a similar order of presentation of the ‘victim’ looking healthy and as the photos progress the viewer can see the infection working on the body and the consciousness of the individual portrayed. Many critics of Nixon’s exhibition thought it was a wonderful work of art that showed the relationship between photographer and subject become more intimate and allowed for the viewer to feel apart of the subjects life in the sense that the boundary between the image and ourselves was vanished. When I say the boundary I am...